Overwatering not only puts the crop at risk. It can end up decreasing your water allocation, polluting groundwater, and reducing nutrient efficiency in the soil.
A study conducted in China showed that optimal irrigation is more effective than optimal fertilisation in reducing nutrient leaching. This makes sense, as water enables translocation of all macro- and micro-elements.
The water-holding capacity of different soil zones can vary considerably within a land. Some farmers report examples of where the maximum capacity is tenfold that of the minimum.
A precise soil analysis can make all the difference, as it enables each zone to be managed as a separate business unit.
Electromagnetic scanning can further increase the accuracy of an analysis, but a high-density grid has proven to achieve similar results while providing far more information about the soil.
Whichever method you use, the bottom line is that waterholding capacity is the key to effective irrigation management.
VARIABLE RATE IRRIGATION
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March 27, 2020