With water use efficiency and availability becoming more critical in all aspects of production agriculture, Cotton Incorporated-funded research continues to evaluate and guide the development of cutting-edge irrigation technologies for cotton.
The practical value of classic irrigation monitoring methods has typically been limited by the requirement of daily trips to the field to read the instrument. Cooperators are now testing several irrigation monitoring systems that utilize either soil moisture probes, or monitor the crop’s canopy temperature to determine water stress and use affordable cell telemetry to transmit that data to the Web.
“We are working to get these systems to provide reliable, continuous data that is capable to reflect a field’s current soil or crop conditions,” says Dr. Ed Barnes, Director, Agricultural Research, Cotton Incorporated.
Despite all the challenges, overall progress in wireless technology-based irrigation systems is being made and growers should expect some practical tools to be available by 2012.