Aquaflex for Orchards

aquaflexvines

Aquaflex soil moisture sensor provides the Grower with accurate soil moisture and soil temperature information to
assist them to optimise the profitability and quality of any irrigated crop.

Aquaflex is a robust and flexible moisture sensor that is 3m in length that can be laid in to soil in a variety of configurations to suit the application.
Some examples are:

  • Horizontally to directly measure moisture in the root-zone at that depth
  • On an angle to give a depth profile
  • In a coil to go around the root ball of trees
  • In a loop to fit in a confined space etc.

Sensor being installed in a new hazelnut orchard in Canterbury

With the reliable and accurate measurement of a large area you will gain the following benefits:

  • Enhanced crop quality
  • Increased crop production
  • Decreased vegetative production while maintaining fruit or vegetable quality
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Reduced water consumption
  • Better control of diseases
  • Improved effectiveness of pesticides
  • Better control of diseases
  • Time and labour savings
  • Reduced water management risk
  • Enables fine tuning of Irrigation Management
  • Demonstrates quality environmental management

Aquaflex also provides soil temperature which is read at the beginning of the sensor where the blocks are seen in the picture below.

A typical Aquaflex installation consists of 1 or 2 sensors per site

The diagram shows the main root zone sensor installed on a slope to integrate the water content both horizontally (down row) and
vertically (over the root zone) to provide an easily interpreted number to make irrigation management decisions with.

The deeper (optional) horizontal sensor is often referred to as a ‘check sensor’ and has dual functionality as outlined below;

Firstly it can be used to make sure you do not over water. If placed below the main root zone at say 600mm (variety and soil dependent)
it will show you if your irrigation is too heavy and pulses of water are moving past the lower sensor and therefore the bulk of the root zone.

Secondly it can help monitor the onset of stress. As the water content is lowered in the main root zone the vine will start to extract water
from lower levels in the soil profile. The lower sensor can be used to balance the stress imposed on the vine by allowing the viticulturist
to monitor changes in extraction patterns from that depth.

 

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