Delivering Precise Soil Conditions for Efficient Crop and Turf Management

Research Synopsis

Using Soil Water Sensors To Improve Irrigation Management

Colorado State University and the USDA Agrigultural Research Service, Bushland, Texas

José L. Chávez, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, CSU and Steven R. Evett, USDA Agrigultural Research Service, Bushland, Texas
This study compares several soil moisture sensor technologies and gives an assessment of their performance of measuring soil water content. The Acclima Digital TDT, Hydra Probe, 5TE, CS655 and CS616 sensors were evaluated in the field. The sensor measurements of soil water content were compared with gravimetric samples and with TDR values. Linear calibration equations could be developed easily for the Acclima soil moisture sensors. The Acclima sensor was found to be very accurate and robust. The study's conclusion states the fact that 'the Acclima algorithm for finding the travel time makes it an accurate time domain method' and thus suitably accurate for irrigation scheduling.

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