Choosing a Practical Moisture Monitor for Irrigation Scheduling

The aim of this project is to compare a range of moisture monitors on the market and find the most user friendly and reliable monitor to schedule irrigations in winter cropping. Irrigation water is becoming the most limiting resource in cropping and we are aiming to use it at the most beneficial times.

This project will aid producers in determining the most effective time to irrigate winter crops to achieve the highest returns/ML. During the 2014 cropping season the Moulamein Cropping Group, Murray LLS and NSW DPI worked together with a project that aimed to increase irrigated crop yields and monitor the use of irrigations.

It was found by Sam North of NSW DPI that many of our growers involved in the project, were not irrigating at the most effective time leading to crop stress from water-logging or being too dry. Even though the fields had moisture monitors in them these were not easy to assess and use by growers. Many growers commented that the monitors needed to be more user friendly and assessable, hence the development of this project.