If you have been dealing with crop production and farming, you must be aware of irrigation farming and have perhaps heard about soil moisture monitoring as well. If you are wondering about what this is all about and how it will help in crop production, in general, listed below are some details.
Irrigation farming is all about applying water to a crop to supplement the water requirements, which are not fulfilled by rain, so that maximum yield is given a boost and the plant product is grown according to the planning. Knowing how much water is required to apply and when to do that well in advance is extremely important as it helps in effective water management practices. Even before we consider the need of installing soil moisture sensor in a soil, it is important to have a thorough knowledge of the importance of water for plant production.
There has been enough research material about the relation between soil moisture condition and plant response. It must be kept in mind that the various stages of growth like flower-bud initiation, vegetative growth or fruit development etc. need varying soil moisture conditions and each stage of growth affects the total growth and yield of the overall crop.
While planning the watering regime for a crop, based on which soil moisture meter and different soil moisture devices can be installed, it is advisable to have a clear understanding of the various growth stages and the varying water requirement of the crop at each stage so that maximum yield of good quality can be achieved. With some type of plants, any one of the stages is more influential than the other ones. For example, if the flowering stage of a crop, during which fruits are marketed, is more influential, then the watering must be done with special care during this phase, than that of the others. Again, with perennial crops, the cropping efficiency and future growth of a plant has to be safeguarded during all the stages with equal care, and the plants must be prevented from drought conditions. Maintaining the perfect soil moisture condition, especially during the moisture sensitive stages of growth, is extremely important as it has an immensely beneficial effect on the growth of plants. If the water supply is restricted during the moisture sensitive stages, it might result in reductions in yield because even if you provide adequate water at the other stages, it won’t be able to compensate the harm that is already caused. For these reasons, installing a soil moisture sensor is considered to be a must-do these days.
It is mandatory to install a soil moisture meter in all types of crop production farms as it affects the internal water relations to a great extent. Whether it is a perennial plant or an annual one, there is a significant change in terms of the internal water relations during the stages of vegetative growth and reproductive development. Sometimes, lowering the water content might be favorable for flower-bud initiation. Again, floral organs are highly sensitive to water stress. Shortage of water might result in reduced sterility, defective floral organs, failure of flowers to open and reduced number of flowers formed. It should also be noted that mineral nutrition of plants and soil moisture status are interrelated. Good amount of rainfall or irrigation at a particular growth stage might facilitate the nutrient uptake by plant roots as the availability of nutrients will be increased or suitable conditions for root activity in the nutrient rich top soil will be provided.
By using a soil moisture meter, you can evaluate the crop water needs and ensure controlled irrigation, which in turn will give you an optimal yield.