PREEC Irrigation Series: Welcome
Xin Qiao, Nebraska Extension Irrigation, Water Management Specialist discusses a new feature recently implemented, on Aug. 9, 2023, at the Peer Learning Agricultural Network website (https://phrec-irrigation.com) to help better understand soil moisture readings for capacitance soil moisture probes.
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[00:00:04.162]Okay, so this is a new series we are launching right now.
[00:00:10.696]The purpose of this is just to better explain the functionalities
[00:00:17.744]we have on the website, and I figured doing a video might
[00:00:21.296]be a little bit easier. Then sending out
[00:00:24.398]to you a very lengthy email. So what I’m going
[00:00:27.611]try to do is - I know I can get pretty chatty but I’m
[00:00:31.971]going to try to control this within three minutes. So
[00:00:34.793]you can watch it when you have time. So here we go.
[00:00:38.491]I’m going to use Ivan’s farm as an example so lets
[00:00:42.725]go to his farm. So default is where East A, field is, and then
[00:00:50.145]go to sensors. So we have implemented a new function
[00:00:58.392]before if you have Simplot probe or Metos probe, this more
[00:01:04.278]expensive kind we have you will see this. It is either three
[00:01:10.798]lines or four lines with percentage values sometime
[00:01:15.101]it’s really difficult to understand what is that. So, right now,
[00:01:19.274]if you toggle on this icon over here it shows
[00:01:23.422]you available water. Now, you only have one line -
[00:01:27.113]this will show you your current level of available water,
[00:01:33.139]which is indicated by the black line over there, and
[00:01:37.032]the blue line that’s your full capacity of your
[00:01:41.775]particular soil type. So in this case, I think I set it as probably 1.6
[00:01:50.421]inches of water per foot of soil and then the red line
[00:01:57.491]here is the refill point. So that means at the red line
[00:02:02.768]you have either depleted 40 percent of your total profile
[00:02:07.446]or 30 percent. Again I adjust that at different stage and
[00:02:14.568]this field is set to be 40 percent. So, looking over here
[00:02:20.649]there was some time the irrigation was not put
[00:02:26.942]out so that means you want irrigation during this time
[00:02:32.945]frame. So right now, lets look at the current value so
[00:02:36.559]as of right now at 10 o'clock Aug. 9th, 2023, your
[00:02:41.690]current available water is at 3.8. So, that means
[00:02:46.981]your maximum capacity to four feet soil profile, you
[00:02:52.614]still have about two inches of room to fill in there, and the
[00:02:58.356]refill point there is about 0.3 inches to the refill point.
[00:03:04.080]So for alfalfa maybe another one or two days and then
[00:03:07.678]you should start your irrigation if there is no rainfall.
[00:03:11.178]Now, let’s look at another field. Let’s go to Jim’s
[00:03:16.216]field - go to Gilbert 3, this is a Simplot probe, so it’s a
[00:03:22.666]little bit shorter only have three lines. But if we go to
[00:03:26.322]this line now, we see it’s at the profile, as of right now. So,
[00:03:33.358]this is a really simple way to see where you are, and
[00:03:38.730]how much water you can put back on your field.
[00:03:42.383]If you have questions, please let us know.
[00:03:47.827]Let me show you one thing, I think this is more
[00:03:50.231]than three minutes, but I’m going to cut and paste,
[00:03:53.046]to keep it under three or five minutes, this is my first time.
[00:03:58.361]So, it can be a little bit not so smooth. So this
[00:04:05.258]is the way we set it. The way we set to your field capacity,
[00:04:09.819]is I read off when there is a large rainfall event
[00:04:14.800]or when there is a pretty large irrigation event. This is
[00:04:22.405]how I set your available water your full capacity,
[00:04:26.591]which is 1.6 inches per feet in this case. The percentage
[00:04:33.184]I’m allowing that to deplete this will set your red
[00:04:41.154]line this will set your blue line and this here that
[00:04:45.906]will set your black line. So, a really simple feature
[00:04:51.189]I feel like compared to reading off these values.
[00:04:55.567]Sometimes it is what does it mean, right, does it translate
[00:05:00.015]to inches or anything like that. Again it’s
[00:05:04.396]customizable if you feel like oh my soil should be
[00:05:08.253]better than that, I should have maybe 1.8 inches per foot,
[00:05:12.429]rather than 1.6, or I want to be a little more conservative,
[00:05:16.759]I have 1.4 rather than 1.6, which I have seen the
[00:05:22.553]difference of textures we have in the valley. Let us know,
[00:05:27.933]and also don’t forget. You can click on this
[00:05:31.330]data point, put a comment in there that is a really quick
[00:05:37.149]way to let us know if you have questions and we can
[00:05:41.557]quickly get to that data point and answer it for you.
[00:05:47.573]There is also one more thing I’d like to point out, which
[00:05:50.449]is on this page, you will see a table like that “estimated crop water use."
[00:05:58.053]This is not exactly your accurate crop water use
[00:06:02.511]at your field. This is actually put out by Gary Stone
[00:06:06.691]if you are subscribing to his weekly crop water use report,
[00:06:11.784]I think him and Chabella, send out every week to the
[00:06:15.726]newspapers and we also update that on the same time on
[00:06:20.608]the website. Depending on what crops you have
[00:06:26.168]for example at Jim’s field - go to Gilbert 3, this is a
[00:06:32.530]corn field. So if we match you have a corn field, we’ll extract
[00:06:38.742]the value from that weekly crop water use report and instead
[00:06:43.052]of going to that, right now you can just look at - okay this is
[00:06:46.875]my corn field this is Gary’s predicted crop water use of last week
[00:06:54.421]and also predicted water use for this week.
[00:07:00.226]So, just another easy feature for you but like we said
[00:07:08.753]before cross comparing different technology products
[00:07:13.038]to be more confident on your decisions.
[00:07:16.232]Okay, that’s it for today - Thank you.
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