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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT AND AUTOMATION FOR INCREASED WATER USE EFFICIENCY

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Discussion of "Soil Moisture Measurements: Comparison of Instrumentation Performances" by Ventura Francesca, Facini Osvaldo, Piana Stefano, and Rossi Pisa Paola

Authors
item Evett, Steven
item Schwartz, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 2010
Publication Date: July 5, 2011
Citation: Evett, S.R., Schwartz, R.C. 2011. Discussion of "Soil Moisture Measurements: Comparison of Instrumentation Performances" by Ventura Francesca, Facini Osvaldo, Piana Stefano, and Rossi Pisa Paola. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage.136(2)81-89.

Interpretive Summary: Despite the peer review process, it sometimes happens that scientific papers are published that give misleading or incorrect conclusions. Scientists with the USDA-ARS Soil and Water Management Research Unit, Bushland, Texas, found that a paper on soil water sensors published in an engineering journal gave recommendations that would have led to improper engineering practices if followed. In their discussion of the paper, the ARS scientists showed why soil temperature effects, ignored in the paper's conclusions, would lead to the erroneous conclusions. They also pointed out inadequate sampling and statistical analysis methods that made the study invalid on those grounds as well. Publication of this discussion will help engineers avoid using soil water content sensors that do not give correct water content values.

Technical Abstract: Despite the peer review process, it sometimes happens that scientific papers are published that give misleading or incorrect conclusions. Scientists with the USDA-ARS Soil and Water Management Research Unit, Bushland, Texas, found that a paper on soil water sensors published in an engineering journal gave recommendations that would have led to improper engineering practices if followed. In their discussion of the paper, the ARS scientists showed why soil temperature effects, ignored in the paper's conclusions, would lead to the erroneous conclusions. They also pointed out inadequate sampling and statistical analysis methods that made the study invalid on those grounds as well. Publication of this discussion will help engineers avoid using soil water content sensors that do not give correct water content values.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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