Soil moisture trial, WA
Last week, vegetablesWA, alongside WildEye Australia, established a soil moisture monitoring station on one of Odeum Produce’s sandy soil properties.
Odeum will soon be able to utilise the data that these sensors capture to feed directly into on-farm decision-making, helping to reduce irrigation requirements and input use and maximise plant health.
The first sensor measures soil moisture and temperature at three different depths and connects to a nearby weather station.
With these factors measured, water and nutrient application can be optimised to the correct time of day and volume for maximum growth and at a minimal cost.
There are plans in the future to expand this technology to another trial crop using a new sensor that measures Electrical Conductivity (EC) in addition to moisture and temperature.
EC is used to measure the concentration of fertiliser or dissolved salts in the soil profile and assists in determining whether further application of fertiliser is necessary.
Soil moisture monitoring is of key importance for Western Australian growers, particularly those growing on sandy soils, where it can help growers save money on pumping water and expensive fertiliser. As a result, it is a key focus area for the RDOs at vegetablesWA.
If you would like to find out about using soil moisture monitoring on your farm in Western Australia, please get in touch with vegetablesWA Regional Development Officers (RDOs) Truyen Vo on firstname.lastname@example.org,or Michael Bartholomew on email@example.com, and they will help you through the process.