Virtually all water used by crops is taken from the soil by the root system. Crops can access only about half of the total moisture in the soil. The rest is held too tightly within the soil for the plants to use. For agricultural purposes, soil moisture refers to the plant-available water.
Regardless of whether the water source is from irrigation or precipitation, for all practical purposes the water must stay in the soil in order for crops to use it. Soils vary in their capacity to store soil moisture. Not only that, soil moisture varies from one part of a field to another. Even locations a few yards apart can have considerable differences in moisture levels.
The level of soil moisture is an indicator of risk to crop production. When soil moisture levels are drier than normal, timely irrigation is required during the growing season to ensure a healthy and abundant crop.
Choosing the right Soil Moisture monitoring device is critical. As all growers know, best management practice in irrigation includes regularly monitoring soil moisture levels throughout the irrigation season. Growers are encouraged to adopt and use long-term soil moisture monitoring to help achieve the optimum water use and maximize crop yields and quality.
McCrometer CONNECT offers a large variety of soil moisture probes to help you choose the right one that matches your management style, crop and situation, the amount of information you need and your budget.
Soil Moisture Monitoring
If you really want to know what’s going on in the active root zones of your plants, how accurate and efficient your irrigation is, how fast water penetrates into your soil profile, then there is no way around direct soil moisture monitoring. McCrometer CONNECT supports a wide variety of soil moisture probes. We have the right sensor for every application, soil and budget. The range of products goes from proven gypsum blocks to highly sophisticated capacitive multi-layer soil moisture probes, that not only measure moisture, but also salinity and temperature.
The technology allows growers to quickly assess issues such as
- Current soil moisture status
- Active root zone depth
- Depth of irrigation/fertigation
- Infiltration rate
- Daily water consumption rates
- Date/time of irrigations
- Irrigation rates and run times
- Total water used (per irrigation, week, month, season)
Combining soil moisture sensors with irrigation gauges has shown to be very recommendable. While the soil moisture sensor shows the actual situation in the ground, the irrigation gauge controls the quantities applied, and thus helps to determine the efficiency of the whole irrigation system, helps to locate clogged filters and drippers, under-pressurized distribution systems and other leaking pipes. If you would like to know more about McCrometer CONNECT’s soil moisture sensors, please click here to contact us.