Friday 11 August 2017

The irrigation season is just around the corner…

With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer (I’m sure it’s too good to be true!) spring growth will soon be kicking into gear and irrigation season will be just around the corner. Now is the time to be ensuring that you’re as prepared as you can be for the irrigation season.

If you’re an irrigated farmer now is the time to be thinking about how you’re going to schedule your irrigation throughout the upcoming season. The days of scuffing the dirt with your boot and having a dig with a spade are fast coming to their end with the need for on-farm soil moisture monitors such as the AquaCheck probe, to give some more accurate numbers to the soil moisture levels than a scuff of your boot on the soil. Having soil moisture probes installed on farm not only helps you make better irrigation decisions but it also gives you some hard and fast data to have when it comes to Farm Environment Plan (or the likes) auditing.

Soil moisture probes for use this coming season should be being installed now or over the next few weeks ideally. All continuous soil moisture measurement devices take a period of a few weeks to ‘settle down’ and give accurate readings post installation.

At Agri Optics we have a great soil moisture probe in the AquaCheck probe as part of our suite.

The key things to note on these probes compared others (other than their great price) are as follows:
·         They’re fully telemetered, giving you access to view up-to-date soil moisture data and make timely decisions based on current, actual data
·         They’re a vertical oriented probe that has multiple soil moisture sensors down their length, giving you a total soil moisture trace and soil moisture traces at each different sensor depth. This means that you can see how the soil moisture moves down through the soil profile and how effective you’re being with your irrigation management. The bottom sensor is also a good ‘check’ for drainage leaving the root zone
·         The AquaCheck probe has built-in soil temperature sensors – a good gauge to be able to better manage irrigation and fertiliser timings in the shoulders of the season in particular
·         They have the option of connecting to rain gauges to give accurate records of rainfall and irrigation at each soil moisture probe site
·         They have a short ‘settling’ time post install compared to most of their competitors, meaning that you’ll get useful data to make decisions off in a short time frame
·         They’re easy to install and uninstall, making them great for seasonal cropping situations
·         They’re very competitively priced
·         There are multiple depth option so that the depth of the probe installed can be matched to your farming system and requirements
·         In NZ they’ve got Agri Optics behind them, to help you, the farmer understand and interpret soil moisture readings and get the most out of soil moisture probes for irrigation scheduling

You can also view more information on the AquaCheck probes on our website:

If you’re interested in the AquaCheck probes or need a soil moisture solution for this season please don’t hesitate to contact one of the Agri Optics Team for some more information and a quote.  

All the best for an upcoming irrigation season & year ahead!