Real-time soil moisture monitoring can be a vital component of precision irrigation management. Today there are several web-based soil moisture monitoring services available to growers that want to enhance their irrigation scheduling accuracy. The question then becomes where is the optimum location to place a single soil moisture probe (vertical series of soil moisture sensors at various depths) within a given field.
The varying locations of a single probe in the field can greatly alter irrigation scheduling. Imprecise probe placement often leads to either under-irrigation or over-irrigation across the varying soil types. Either circumstance can result in significant yield loss due to irrigation inefficiency.
To maximize irrigation efficiency, a single soil moisture probe should be installed in the most optimum field location. Like with all things in Precision Ag, if you are going by the numbers you will want to locate your soil moisture probe in the most representative soil type and level ground. To implement this practice, Virtual Agronomist features the new and exclusive OptiProbe.
OptiProbe is a proprietary data layer that combines both soil type and topography variability derivatives in the form of precise EM and landscape change layers to identify the most accurate and optimum locations for installing your soil moisture probe.
Utilizing OptiProbe with a single probe in the field, growers can increase overall water use efficiency by precisely determining how much supplemental irrigation to apply and when. Then in combination with the new VRI Optimization service, this base application rate can be variably adjusted up and down based on percent deviations of spatial variability identified in the field’s data layers that most influence water utilization: EM and landscape change.
Variably optimizing irrigation applications across the entire field ultimately conserves water and nitrogen, reduces energy use and increases overall yield.