HydroServices Limited provides expert irrigation management advice based on soil moisture measurements in selected crops, fields and irrigation blocks. Soil moisture measurements are made with a neutron probe or dielectric sensors.
Soil moisture is the ONLY source of water for a plant. More than 80% of the water used by a plant is transpired so the plant leaf can stay at the ambient air temperature. Irrigation aims to keep the soil moisture between the full and stress (refill) points so there is sufficient moisture for optimum growth. If the soil moisture falls below the stress point, yield will be decreased and quality diminished. If irrigation raises moisture above the full point, the excess drains through the soil, wasting water and leaching valuable nutrients.
HydroServices measures soil moisture with a neutron probe in fields or blocks as required by the grower every 5-7 days. Rainfall and irrigation (amount and date) are recorded by the grower. HydroServices measures irrigation and rainfall depths adjacent to the monitoring sites. Soil moisture measurements, rainfall and irrigation and the forecast weather for the next 5-7 days are used to provide an irrigation management schedule for each crop, paddock or block. The schedule advises the next irrigation date and application amount, or the any adjustment in the micro irrigation cycle.
Continuous soil moisture measurements from dielectric sensors are managed in a similar manner; i.e.