On arid slopes overlooking British Columbia’s Lake Okanagan, vineyard owner Don King is coaxing 30,000 plants to grow grapes of exactly the right colour, size and sweetness to produce great ice wine and other fine vintages.

He does this with the help of judicious watering, a knowledge of the age-old art of viniculture, handed down over generations — and electronic sensing devices linked together in a wireless network.

The sensors that monitor the many different microclimates on the rolling terrain help Mr. King determine exactly when and where to apply moisture to irrigate the plants and protect them against frost, thus helping him conserve water, a scarce commodity in this northern desert, and practice what he calls “precision farming.”
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