University of California

Monitoring soil moisture helps refine irrigation management


Blaine R. Hanson
Steve Orloff
Douglas Peters

Authors Affiliations

B.R. Hanson is Extension Irrigation and Drainage Specialist; S. Orloffis Farm Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Siskiyou County; D. Peters is Staff Research Associate, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 54(3):38-42. DOI:10.3733/ca.v054n03p38. May 2000.

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Soil moisture sensors can be used to determine the appropriate interval between irrigation, depth of wetting, depth of extraction by roots and adequacy of wetting. We tested the performance of soil moisture sensors in different crops. Sensors that read on a continuous basis, such as the Enviroscan device, can provide valuable information that may not be readily evident from periodic measurements. The Watermark blocks responded well throughout the wetting and drying cycles, indicating that they function more consistently over a wider range of soil moisture contents compared with tensiometers and gypsum blocks.


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Hanson B, Orloff S, Peters D. 2000. Monitoring soil moisture helps refine irrigation management. Hilgardia 54(3):38-42. DOI:10.3733/ca.v054n03p38
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