The increased investment in precision irrigation, coupled with a need for irrigators to be more accountable for their water use, is resulting in increased adoption of soil moisture monitoring. However, irrigation scheduling using soil moisture monitoring is not a simple task. Irrigators must choose the right equipment for their soil, land use activities and irrigation system type, and then locate, install and calibrate (if necessary) it correctly. Accessing, managing and understanding the data is also important. If soil moisture monitoring is to be successful, each of these aspects has to be carefully worked through.
The soil moisture monitoring resource book has been divided into three parts -
- The first covers the technology options available for soil moisture monitoring including their benefits and limitations. It also lists the common sensors available in New Zealand. More detail can be found on the technology options in the soil moisture monitoring methods section of this book.
- The second covers considerations for installing soil moisture sensors, selecting how many are required, their location, when calibration is necessary, and capturing and understanding the information they produce.
- The third provides a list of simple questions for irrigators to work through in order to successfully choose, install and use soil moisture sensors.