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Best Management Practices – Irrigation Scheduling using Soil Moisture

Quick fact sheet to support irrigation scheduling.

  • The soil in the root zone has an upper as well as a lower limit of storing water that can be used by crops.
  • Tracking soil moisture to improve irrigation scheduling saves time, energy, nutrients and water.
  • Technology improvements in sensing technology and data acquisition have made soil moisture sensing more practical and easier.
  • Sensors should be placed in the most representative soil type in a field. In furrow irrigation, 2/3 down the length of the field is typically best.
  • As the crop grows and extracts water from the soil to satisfy its ET requirement, the stored soil water is gradually depleted.