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Managing Soil Moisture on Turf Grass Using a Portable Wave Reflectometer

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Abstract:

The agronomic needs of grass pose many challenges to managing irrigation on turf. The turf must be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. But soil moisture has high spatial variability, including hot spots that can rapidly become critically low in available water. Wave reflectometers use time domain technology to give fast, accurate, and objective measurements of soil moisture content. The objective of this paper is to present ways a portable, electronic wave reflectometer can be used to manage water application on turf. First, a case study outlines how a turf manager can use a reflectometer as a stand-alone tool. The 2 main steps are a.) an initial evaluation of the different management zones where the manager takes readings with the meter and determines the critical soil moisture values and b.) ongoing modification of these criteria to account for seasonal climate changes. In general, it takes about 2 weeks to identify the optimal soil moisture ranges. Second, 2-dimensional contour plots are presented for geo-referenced data sets. This makes the variability across the site visually apparent and pinpoints areas of concern. Finally, a comparison is made of irrigation audits performed with the soil moisture and traditional catch can data. Soil moisture distribution uniformity was over 80% while catch can uniformity was under 65%. Additionally, inspection of maps of soil moisture and catch can data sets showed that the irrigation distribution measured with the catch cans did not mirror the distribution pattern of soil moisture in the top 12 cm of the soil profile.
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Association:
Name: SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY
URL:
http://www.swcs.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p235437_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Kieffer, Douglas. and O'Connor, T.. "Managing Soil Moisture on Turf Grass Using a Portable Wave Reflectometer" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY, TBA, Tucson, Arizona, Jul 26, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p235437_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kieffer, D. L. and O'Connor, T. S. , 2008-07-26 "Managing Soil Moisture on Turf Grass Using a Portable Wave Reflectometer" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY, TBA, Tucson, Arizona <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p235437_index.html

Publication Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract: The agronomic needs of grass pose many challenges to managing irrigation on turf. The turf must be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. But soil moisture has high spatial variability, including hot spots that can rapidly become critically low in available water. Wave reflectometers use time domain technology to give fast, accurate, and objective measurements of soil moisture content. The objective of this paper is to present ways a portable, electronic wave reflectometer can be used to manage water application on turf. First, a case study outlines how a turf manager can use a reflectometer as a stand-alone tool. The 2 main steps are a.) an initial evaluation of the different management zones where the manager takes readings with the meter and determines the critical soil moisture values and b.) ongoing modification of these criteria to account for seasonal climate changes. In general, it takes about 2 weeks to identify the optimal soil moisture ranges. Second, 2-dimensional contour plots are presented for geo-referenced data sets. This makes the variability across the site visually apparent and pinpoints areas of concern. Finally, a comparison is made of irrigation audits performed with the soil moisture and traditional catch can data. Soil moisture distribution uniformity was over 80% while catch can uniformity was under 65%. Additionally, inspection of maps of soil moisture and catch can data sets showed that the irrigation distribution measured with the catch cans did not mirror the distribution pattern of soil moisture in the top 12 cm of the soil profile.

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