Irrigation Scheduling Using Soil Moisture Sensors

  •  Ruixiu Sui    


Irrigation is required to ensure crop production. Practical methods of use sensors to determine soil water status are needed in irrigation scheduling. Soil moisture sensors were evaluated and used for irrigation scheduling in humid region of the Mid-South US. Soil moisture sensors were installed in soil at depths of 15 cm, 30 cm, and 61 cm belowground. Soil volumetric water content was automatically measured by the sensors in a time interval of an hour during the crop growing season. Soil moisture data were wirelessly transferred onto internet through a wireless sensor network (WSN) so that the data could be remotely accessed online. Soil water content measured at the three depths were interpreted using a weighted average method to reflect the status of soil water in plant root zone. A threshold to trigger an irrigation event was determined with sensor-measured soil water content. An antenna mounting device was developed for operation of the WSN. Using the antenna mounting device, the soil moisture measurement was not be interrupted by crop field management practices.

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