At University of Nebraska – Lincoln West Central Research and Extension Center, multiple units of the same electromagnetic soil moisture sensor were installed within 10 feet of each other to examine the spread in their water content readings. The studied sensors included TDR315, CS616, CS655, HydraProbe2, EC5, 5TE, Teros12, and AquaSpy. For every sensor, the multiple units differed not only in their initial readings but also in their increases from rain and their decreases from crop water use. Based on the results, producers may want to explore ways to use these sensors for irrigation scheduling without comparing against a fixed threshold defined by a predetermined water content or by a predetermined difference from the initial reading.
Publication: Lo, T.H., D.R. Rudnick, J. Singh, H.N. Nakabuye, A. Ktimbo, D. M. Heeren, Y. Ge. (2019). Field assessment of interreplicate variability from eight electromagnetic soil moisture sensors. Agricultural Water Management
This article is part of a special issue titled “Managing the Ogallala” published by Agricultural Water Management that was guest edited by Ogallala Water team members Ryan Bailey, Meagan Schipanski, and Isaya Kisekka.