UF/IFAS professors highlight different irrigation scheduling methods, complete with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
As far as management practices to improve crop production go, irrigation scheduling is one of the most important, according to a Citrus Industry article written by UF/IFAS assistant professors, Sandra M. Guzman and Rhuanito S. Ferrarezi. The article explains different irrigation scheduling methods, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. See a summary below.
Different Irrigation Scheduling Methods
Since, as the article points out, “the more accurately the irrigation system applies water, the more water savings are achieved,” citrus growers and others in ag will want to choose the irrigation scheduling method that works best for them.
Evapotranspiration-Based Methods. According to the article, “he theory behind irrigation scheduling based on evapotranspiration (ET) relies on the replenishment of water evaporated from the soil surface and the water used by the tree. A crop coefficient, which is related to the water requirements based on the tree phenological stage, plus the soil and weather characteristics are used.” This method requires information from a weather station or app, and initial calculations. A step-by-step guide on ET-based irrigation scheduling can be found at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae458.
Fawn and Citrus Irrigation App. The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) and the UF/IFAS citrus app offer ET irrigation scheduling without the need for sourcing weather data. The FAWN irrigation scheduler can be found at https://fawn.ifas.ufl.edu/tools/irrigation/citrus/scheduler. The citrus irrigation app can be found at https://smartirrigationapps.org/citrus-app.
Soil-Based Methods. These methods utilize soil-based moisture sensors. Information on installation and data interpretation can be found at http://citrusindustry.net/2018/07/10/using-soil-moisture-sensors-for-citrus-irrigation/.
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