Irrigation management is intelligent irrigation. Understanding the crop and having total control over the field, effectively defining and delivering the exact amount of water that the plants need. You’ll see increased productivity, great savings on water and energy, early programming of the frequency and amount to be irrigated. Crop control and sustainability. The iMetos® weather stations provide continuous record and real- time field conditions, which allows the irrigation to be controlled and much simpler. In addition, this intelligent systems send SMS alerts in case of extreme weather events, defined by the user.
While using irrigation management you’ll be able to increase your productivity, quality, profitability, and control. While reducing water usage, energy usage, and manual labor. The Water Balance Model utilizes the estimated water consumption by plants, the so-called crop evapotranspiration (ETc). To calculate ETc, the estimated reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and crop coefficient (Kc) are necessary. ￼￼Among the methods to determine ETo are the Class A pan, a simple evaporimeter. A very accurate ETo calculation method is Penman- Monteith, which is used by iMetos AG. It is calculated based on the measurement of several climatic variables through weather stations.
The irrigation management via soil moisture is based on a direct measurement of soil humidity, through volumetric and tensiometric sensors. Tensiometric (suction) sensors combined with capacitance sensors (volumetric – % water), at different depths, provide accurate information about when and how much to irrigate. Besides providing Irrigation Management via water balance, the iMetos AG also supports soil sensors.
Soil Moisture-based irrigation management can be performed through the iMetos ECO D2 station, equipped with a rain gauge and a set of soil sensors configured according to the customer needs. Examples:
- 1 rain gauge + 2 Watermark sensors (suction) + 2 Decagon 10HS sensors (% water)
- 1 rain gauge + 2 Watermark sensors (suction) + 1 Sentek Drill & Drop sensor (soil moisture – Profile)
The Sentek “Drill&Drop” sensor measures soil moisture, salinity and soil temperature at every 10 centimeters with probes of 60 cm or 120 cm. This sensor is specially indicated for non-perennial crops, when the station needs to be frequently removed and repositioned.
- The soil sensors installation place must be a representative part of the crop and soil type of the cultivated area
- The installation must be careful to allow perfect contact of the instrument with the ground
- Sensors installed at various depths allow the assessment of the soil moisture profile
- The irrigation timing should be reported by the sensors installed in the upper third and / or half the effective depth of the roots (80% of fine roots)
- Monitoring of excessive or deficient water applications should be done near the depth below the effective root area.