Making a Soil Moisture Probe

Agriculture NSW Water Unit - NSW DPI

Type: Factsheet
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Being able to determine the depth of water penetration either during an irrigation or rain event, is am important decision making tool.

This fact sheet produced by Agriculture NSW Water Unit in 2014 looks at making a soil moisture probe.

A simple way of judging the depth of soil wetting after irrigation or rain is to use a soil moisture probe or push probe and measuring the depth of wetted soil provides useful information about how plant roots can access soluble nutrients within the soil profile.

The key points covered include:

  • making a soil moisture probe
  • using the soil moisture probe

Information about how deep soil is wet may be used to determine if the root zone of the crop or pasture is wet or not. In rainfed systems, the wetness of the soil profile can determine if a crop or pasture:

  • can be planted
  • the amount of pasture likely to be grown from a rainfall event
  • if grain fill is likely to occur from stored soil moisture
  • if major events like flowering will occur in a particular pasture species

These are all important production questions worthy of consideration.

2014 - Australia - Agriculture NSW Water Unit - NSW DPI
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