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April 2, 2015
CERMETEK ANNOUNCES NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR REDUCING AGRICULTURAL WATER USE
LeafMon Technology will Revolutionize Crop Irrigation .

LeafMon Technology will Revolutionize Crop Irrigation

Cermetek today announced new sensor technology, LeafMon. LeafMon allows growers for the first time to base irrigation decisions on a measure of plant hydration. Traditionally, growers irrigated on a schedule. More recently soil moisture sensors have enabled growers to irrigate only when the ground is dry. Now, LeafMon technology collects and analyzes new sensor data growers can use to base irrigation decisions on plant conditions. This technology will substantially reduce water use and permit the grower to maintain their plants in near ideal conditions that maximize crop quality and yield. LeafMon has been designed with the ultimate goal of empowering farmers to manage irrigation on a plant by plant basis for the most economic use of their available water resource.

LeafMon integrates a suite of environmental sensors and is installed on plants selected as representative of the grower?s crop. The LeafMon unit is non-invasive and mounts to the plant without causing damage or requiring destruction of any leaves. Safeguarding the plant allows LeafMon to continuously monitor an individual plant throughout the growing season. LeafMon calculates the Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI) using a set of formulas that take into account the complex interactions of the environmental variables. Combining LeafMon with the Cermetek AquaMon Internet agricultural water management and control system gives the grower access to the plant health information on our web server from any tablet, laptop or smartphone. Patents are pending for the LeafMon technology.

?Today, some growers rely on a ?pressure bomb? to get occasional plant stress readings,? explains Cermetek President Henry Roskos. ?They haul the pressure bomb out to the field, pluck a leaf from the tree, and run a test on that leaf. Each test takes 15 to 20 minutes and must be done at the peak of the day for accurate results. LeafMon eliminates the labor intensive special trips to the field and allows continuous monitoring without damaging the plant.?

The LeafMon technology was developed under a US Department of Agriculture grant. Cermetek expects to ship the first LeafMon products by late spring 2015. The initial products will target three of California?s highest value crops: almonds, grapes and walnuts. Cermetek Microelectronics designs, manufactures, and markets hardware and software for agricultural water management and control systems under the AquaMon brand. These systems provide a link between sensors and actuators installed in the field and the grower through software running on our secure web server. Growers access the sensor data and equipment in the field with any browser equipped laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

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