Managing soils for water efficiency
Fixing the water cycle: is easier said than done, with so many demands on water resources around the world.
The new article from OrganicFarmer talks about the importance of managing water levels in the field to achieve water efficiency in times of scarcity and changing weather.
Fixing the water cycle: easier said than done, with so many demands on water resources around the world. Many areas worldwide do feel the effects of reduced water quality and quantity, or both. In the U.S., many areas have been suffering for years now, placing unprecedented demands on both surface and ground water supplies.
Many areas of the country are over drafting ground water supplies. The overdraft problem is exacerbated by the way soils are managed. Most of the North-american soils are degraded, affecting soil's functionality to infiltrate water from surface to deeper levels. Consequently, it runs off, carrying soil and nutrients, impacting downstream surface waters, leading to flooding in some cases.
Significant adaptation will be needed to ensure adequate supply and efficient use of what is a diminishing resource. This reduction in the supply of water will affect agriculture and will require a change in focus from increasing productivity of land (yield per acre) to increasing productivity per unit of water consumed.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure
Measuring soil moisture is one of the most important adaptations. Even more effective when used in combination with practices that support a healthy soil.
The moisture content of the soil regulates the moisture levels in the plant. Overly dry soil, or overly moist soil stresses the plant and can induce diseases and reduce future seasons’ yields. Because of that, measuring soil moisture is crucial to schedule irrigation and provide the crop with adequate water to achieve ideal growth and yields.
Soil moisture monitoring devices use sensors and probes located in the soil root zone. Combined with information about temperature, evapotranspiration (evaporation from the soil and transpiration from the plant), and water requirements of each crop, these devices are able to provide the farmer with information that can be used to properly schedule irrigation. Furthermore, to base decisions on historical or future-projected data.
The future of farming with Sensoterra
Sensoterra soil moisture sensors have been helping growers worldwide to make smarter irrigation decisions, considering weather challenges, groundwater reduction, and annual droughts. With many farmers reducing their input costs and increasing their bottom line by choosing to invest in fast-ROI new machinery,
Sensoterra offers an affordable-farm-tough-wireless solution, ready to provide soil moisture data from remote areas to urban farmings. Growers are able to control over-irrigation, save water, save energy and time, while remotely managing multiple fields. Furthermore, the ability to integrate sensors' data with other smart devices, gives a full bird-eye view of the crop, reducing unpredictable variability.
Curious to see how Sensoterra can help your crop yield? Check our case studies!
For more information, send us an email to: [email protected].
Caroline is a Soil Data Manager at Sensoterra. Previously, she worked as a laboratory analyst, responsible for data analysis of roots and soil, identifying pesticide contamination and plant accumulation. Her background is in Environmental Science, with a Masters's degree in Water & Environment from Radboud University.Get in touch