Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The timely application of irrigation to crops is essential for optimal agricultural production. The scheduling of irrigation is conceptually rather simple but much more complex in practice. The BIOTIC (Biologically-Identified-Optimal-Temperature-Interactive-Console) method of irrigation scheduling utilizes a biologically-identified optimum plant temperature (the "temperature threshold") and an environment-based time interval (the "time threshold") to schedule irrigation. Canopy temperature is monitored continuously and compared to the temperature and time thresholds to schedule irrigation. Temperature thresholds can be determined from the thermal dependence of the kinetics of enzymes and/or physiological processes. Time thresholds are determined for a given crop in a given environment through analysis of historic environmental data. BIOTIC has been used to schedule irrigation in several crop species using both drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. Multiple years of scheduling in the Lubbock, TX region and additional studies in other regions of the U.S. have established the utility of the BIOTIC method for irrigation scheduling.
Technical Abstract: BIOTIC (Biologically Identified Optimal Temperature Interactive Console) is an irrigation scheduling protocol that has been developed over the corse of the last 10 years by researchers at the USDA/ARS in Lubbock Texas USA. The BIOTIC system uses a species-specific optimal temperature value and continuos monitoring of plant canopy temperatures to determine the need for rirrigation. Ten years of field studies have demonstrated the applicabilit of the BIOTIC method to a number of different crops with several irrigation systems.