Pressure Measurement For Agricultural Applications

gauges on a red tractorA couple months ago we took a brief look at how the agriculture industry is turning to automation and data to help monitor product and resource levels, enabling farmers and ranchers to be proactive, rather reactive, about the needs and conditions of their businesses. We all agreed that there are plenty of opportunities for level measurement in the modern agriculture industry.

But what of pressure measurement? Its presence could be inferred from that article, but it was not specifically addressed. So let’s take another walk through the farm and see where pressure gauges and transmitters can help make life a little bit easier.

Related post: Tracking Your Data In All Your Unusual Places.


Fixing broken equipment, especially large farm equipment, is usually much more expedient than buying a new replacement, in terms of both time and money. This is not a revelation. But, as you also know, just as often, replacement parts are necessary to keep older equipment operational.

How many oil or hydraulic systems in your older tractors, combines, or harvesters still have their original pressure gauges, complete with a layer of dust for every year of service? A shiny new digital gauge might seem silly in the old beast, but the increased accuracy and clarity might mean the difference between a leak caught quickly and debilitating engine failure.

While we’re inspecting the machinery, let’s take a look at a crop duster. Yes, airplanes have all sorts of dials and gauges and read-outs, and no, I’m not about to suggest those be replaced willy-nilly. However, the delivery system on this crop duster is a different matter.

There’s a digital pressure gauge on the system within easy sight of the pilot/operator. When the trigger is pulled, the gauge shows about 60 psi of pressure, indicating that the spray system is working. When the trigger is released, vacuum pressure closes all the nozzles. A trigger-off pressure reading of anything other than vacuum indicates a problem with the delivery system. The measurement is straight-forward, but critical for ensuring problems don't go undetected.

Product and Resource Management Systems

“Product and Resource Management Systems” is a fancy way of saying “All your pipes with stuff in them.” Whether it’s an irrigation system pumping water across fields and through orchards or a production system for milk at a dairy, you need to monitor the pressure in the pipes and tanks you depend on for your livelihood.

For smaller, localized systems with on/off cycles, a pressure gauge with a display may be all that you need. For larger or “always on” systems, pressure transmitters sending data back to control centers might make more sense. As we are fond of saying, it’s all about the application. The effectiveness of a sensor, gauge, or transmitter will always be limited by how well it is matched to the application.

Not sure what kind of pressure gauge or transmitter might fit your needs best? No matter how big or small your operation is, our Measurement Experts can help match your application to the right sensor, even if it’s not one of ours. But you won’t know until you ask, so give them a call, drop them an email, or drop by our live chat.


Explore Pressure Sensors


top photo credit: kellinahandbasket via flickr cc

Have a Question?

You can contact us directly by clicking the link, connecting with us on social media, or sending us a chat during business hours.