Soil Moisture Sensors in Row Crops
Capacitance Style Soil Moisture Sensors in Row Crop Production
C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park, CamiIla
C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park
On farm demonstration trials were implemented in three different counties in southwest Georgia to get farmers and county agents familiar with using capacitance style soil moisture sensors and also with monitoring their soil moisture data.
Irrigation is very important to crop production, especially in years when in-season droughts reduces crop yields. The adoption of soil moisture sensors to schedule irrigation in row crop production is growing, but at a rather slow pace. Between the two types of soil moisture sensors, volumetric (capacitance), and tensiometric, the tensiometric style probes have seen a much higher adoption rate in row crop production mainly due to their lower cost.
There were on farm demonstration trials implemented in three different southwest Georgia counties this year in corn, peanuts, and cotton using three different style capacitance sensors from three different vendors. The goal was to get county agents and farmers comfortable with using this style of soil moisture sensor. Each vendor had their own user interface where both the county agent and farmer could monitor their soil moisture data.
At the end of the growing season, each participating county agent and farmer was given a brief survey and asked what their knowledge of the sensors was before and after the implementation of this project. They were also asked if they felt comfortable with using this technology and how likely they would be to implement capacitance style soil moisture sensors in their farming operation in the future. The results of the survey showed that all of the county agents and farmers gained knowledge of using capacitance style soil moisture sensors and that the data given to the farmers influenced their irrigation decisions. Results also showed that all of the farmers were more than likely to implement soil moisture sensors systems on their farm in the future.
Sustainability, Conservation, and the Environment