The Different Methods of Scheduling Irrigation
To get the most efficient use from any irrigation system, it’s critical to schedule irrigation to occur when water is needed the most, not when it’s needed the least.
Scheduling can be managed in a variety of ways depending on the crop, local weather, and chosen irrigation system design.
Before purchasing systems and turning them on, farmers should discuss their needs and how to appropriately irrigate without wastage with their irrigation system service that can advise on the many systems available.
Soil Moisture Level Technique
Monitoring soil moisture levels to determine irrigation scheduling is the technique that has been used since the first days of irrigation systems, both primitive and modern.
Soil moisture must be monitored using various methods that include the “hand feel” method, electronic tensiometers, electrical resistance meters, and other electronic soil monitoring tools, many of which are built into today’s advanced irrigation system designs.
Irrigation is scheduled for when the amount of moisture in the soil goes below a specific limit set based on the plant, soil type, and how long that moisture is available to the plants.
Water Balance Technique
The water balance technique of irrigation scheduling involves monitoring meteorological data in addition to soil type and moisture content, plant type, and other variables.
Irrigation pump establishes a measure of water taken into the soil via rainfall and irrigation against water taken out of the soil via absorption and evaporation to develop a careful balance to keep plants properly irrigated.
Though a more complicated calculation, the water balance method makes it easier to predict irrigation needs based on natural rainfall and high evaporation, not just how much moisture can be detected in the soil on a particular day.
Plant Monitoring Technique
Another effective way to predict the need to schedule irrigation systems is by monitoring the plants themselves.
Plants go through many changes all day long based on their conditions, from the amount of sunlight to the moisture in the soil to plant temperature.
Using devices such as turgor pressure sensors, pressure...
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