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Browsing Category Irrigation

Know Your Soil Moisture

Irrigation management is about deciding when to irrigate and how much water to apply. When irrigations are managed properly, sufficient water is available for plant uptake for photosynthesis and transpiration during the growing season and excess water loss – through deep percolation and surface runoff – is minimized. Numerous studies have quantified the magnitude of yield reduction when irrigation is delayed and available soil water within the root zone of the crop…

Satellite technology could help ag producers measure soil moisture

Agricultural producers could, in the future, make use of better forecasts to more efficiently irrigate their fields using a Purdue-developed technology that could  more accurately sense soil moisture below the surface through measuring the reflections of  communication satellite signals. “The reflectivity of the surface is a function of the soil moisture, and that allows us to quantify the amount of moisture in the soil so, if necessary, growers can take corrective actions…

Potatoes and Water Management: From Deluge to Drought

Potato producers know all too well that controlling Mother Nature is as likely as reigning in a two year-old. In either case, you’re doomed before you start. At the same time, there are ways to optimize water use efficiency and minimize the damage from floods and droughts. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart assembled five industry experts to discuss the importance of water management to potato production, and how to deal…

Convincing the Unconvinced on Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture is cutting edge, high-tech and full of potential. At least some western Canadian potato farmers, however, see it as overwhelming, costly, frustrating, and/or difficult to implement. If you look past the hype and excitement surrounding precision agriculture, you’ll find a group of farmers who have tried it and quit, or who were turned off the concept before they ever started. Jeff Bronsch, an agronomic consultant in Taber, Alta., understands farmers…

Variable Rate Irrigation

In recent years, the concept known as variable rate irrigation or VRI has become a catchphrase among irrigation specialists and growers alike. Some would even describe it as precision agriculture applied to irrigation. In essence, VRI is the process of applying differing irrigation amounts to match crop water demands at a small scale within a particular field. Most irrigation equipment manufacturers in Canada nowadays offer systems that are or can be retrofitted…

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