Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Time domain reflectometry (TDR) has changed the way researchers measure soil water content. This technology can now be applied easily to practical field situations such as irrigation scheduling. Mobile TDR probes were inserted into the soil vertically and measured soil moisture in the top 30 cm of soil. In a similar manner, soil moisture was measured in the 30 to 60 0cm depth. Soil moisture measured by this method was comparable to that measured by a TDR with waveguides permanently installed in a horizontal position. The mobile TDR was used to measure soil moisture in many locations on a given day for two growing seasons. This information was used to update a checkbook method of irrigation scheduling and proved to be quick and accurate. Mobile TDR measurements in many locations provided a sound estimate of soil moisture throughout a field and allowed for improved irrigation scheduling. With a little re-engineering, mobile TDR probes can be a very reliable and easy way for farmers to monitor soil moisture status.