WHY MONITOR SOIL MOISTURE?
Soil moisture monitoring helps make better irrigation decisions, so that you are not over- or under-irrigating. It also assists to optimise your system.
Every farm is different, so there isn’t a single set of instructions about how many sites to monitor, and when.
For compliance purposes you need to have evidence that shows the Farm Environment Plan auditor how you are using the results to make decisions.
- Follow set up instructions. Make sure that the meter shows the correct probe length and soil type.
- Have a notebook or recording sheet for your measurements, or set up to download to your computer.
- Walk across a paddock taking measurements and noting them down, just to get a feel for how the measurements vary – with topography, slope, irrigation (e.g. a k-line block, or a gun, or roto-rainer). A diagonal line corner to corner is suggested, but make sure to pick up variations in terrain. See if there are any patterns.
- Try this again in a few weeks when the soil is either wetter or drier (e.g. before/after irrigation). Compare with your previous readings. Is it what you expected?
- Take 3-5 different measurements in the same small area see if they vary much. Try out the ‘average’ button.
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