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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 #313269

Title: Understanding Soil Moisture

item Evett, Steven - Steve
item Schwartz, Robert

Submitted to: International Irrigation Show
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2014
Publication Date: 11/18/2014
Citation: Evett, S.R., Schwartz, R.C. 2014. Understanding Soil Moisture. International Irrigation Show[abstract] 2014 Irrigation Show and Education Conf., Nov. 17 - 21, 2014.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Understanding soil moisture is critical for landscape irrigation management. This landscaep irrigation seminar will compare volumetric and matric potential soil-moisture sensors, discuss the relationship between their readings and demonstrate how to use these data. Soil water sensors attempt to sense either the soil matric potential or the soil water content. The matric potential is more directly related to vegetation's response to soil water, although knowing the matric potential does not allow an irrigator to know directly how much water is in the soil or how much it can hold if irrigated or if a precipiation event occurs. Since knowledge of the soil's capacity to store water from irrigation and precipitation is important for irrigation management to make best use of water resources, many irrigators prefer soil water content sensors. On the other hand, growers of sensitive plants may prefer the more direct knowledge of soil water stress that matric potential sensors provide. This landscape irrigation seminar will explain the differences between matric potential and water content sensors, the relationships between data from the two types of sensors, and whether or not data can be usefully converted from one type of sensor to another.