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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #292332

Title: Soil water sensors for irrigation management-What works, what doesn't, and why

item Evett, Steven - Steve
item Schwartz, Robert
item Casanova, Joaquin

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2013
Publication Date: 3/7/2013
Citation: Evett, S.R., Schwartz, R.C., Casanova, J.J. 2013. Soil water sensors for irrigation management-What works, what doesn't, and why. Meeting Abstract. Presentation made at Ogallala Aquifer Workshop, March 7, 2013, Amarillo, TX.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Irrigation scheduling can be greatly improved if accurate soil water content data are available. There are a plethora of available soil water sensing systems, but those that are practical for irrigation scheduling are divided into two major types: the frequency domain (capacitance) sensors and the time domain sensors. Several of each type of sensor were demonstrated to the public, and the performance, and usefulness of each sensor was discussed. The capacitance sensors were capable of showing patterns over time in soil wetting and drying but were incapable of reporting soil water content data accurately enough for irrigation scheduling. The time domain sensors, once too expensive and complicated for irrigation scheduling, were represented by two new, affordable and easy-to-use sensors from different manufacturers that use time domain measurement principles to deliver accurate water content, and soil temperature, and bulk electrical conductivity data that are very useful for irrigation scheduling.