Soil moisture content and soil temperature are two of the most important conditions to ensure optimum plant growth and quality.
Every Turf Manager has their own objectives regarding turf quality and Aquaflex is an invaluable tool and provides the information to assist in achieving these objectives.
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.
There are many benefits provided by Aquaflex, some examples are below:
Independent trials conducted using AQUAFLEX in several different applications demonstrated savings of up to 50% in water use after AQUAFLEX sensors were installed.
This is consistent with the approach many irrigators naturally take to soil moisture management, “It is generally safer to over water than under water!”
However, with the information provided by AQUAFLEX, Turf Managers can optimise their irrigation and reap the benefits, including:
Irrigation systems generally require energy for operation.
In addition, excessive dry matter production such as on a golf course requires increased mowing, a significant energy user.
AQUAFLEX’s accurate and continuous measurement of soil moisture and soil temperature enables Turf Managers to fine tune
their irrigation to achieve their quality objectives while minimising energy use.
Benefits of this include significantly lower operating costs and improved profitability of the operation
Turf Managers often wish to minimise or maximise plant dry matter production while maintaining plant quality.
For example, a Golf Course Superintendent wants nice looking green fairways, which heal themselves reasonably quickly when divots are taken out.
However superintendents do not always want a high level of dry matter production because that leads to extra mowing and high water consumption.
Aquaflex’s accurate and continuous measurement of soil moisture and soil temperature enables Turf Managers to fine tune their irrigation to maintain
turf quality while minimising mowing operations and water use. This will ensure:
As many irrigation systems apply substantially more water than is required, they contribute to the loss of fertilisers and agro-chemicals
through leaching as a result of excessively high soil moisture content.
The savings in fertiliser usage that can be achieved by more precise control of soil moisture content can be substantial.
The soil temperature information provided by AQUAFLEX is also invaluable in ensuring the soil conditions are at the level
to ensure optimum fertiliser uptake by the turf before applying the fertiliser. This will ensure:
Pesticides are most effective when they are applied under conditions which are optimal for each pesticide (environmental, soil moisture, plant growth stage etc).
In addition, conditions which may be conducive to the development of diseases can be identified, so enabling preventative pesticide applications to be made.
Aquaflex data can assist with the timing of pesticide applications. This will ensure reduced pesticide usage and application of pesticides at the correct time to ensure optimum benefit
Aquaflex soil moisture and temperature measurement systems provide a continual stream of information on the condition of the soil,
so that Turf Managers can make decisions at any time based on this information.
The timeliness of this information can save both time and labour as the Turf Manager does not need to undertake time consuming manual
investigations of soil moisture content before taking action on irrigation management.
Aquaflex provides continual information enabling Turf Managers to compare soil moisture contents from hour to hour, day to day, week to week or from season to season.
Turf Managers can experiment with irrigation management practices and monitor the results of their experiments.
This enables the Turf Manager to constantly fine tune the irrigation systems to achieve optimum performance
The management of any turf is an exercise in risk management.
Risks include weather conditions, disease prevalence and the quality and availability of good contractors and staff.
Aquaflex sensors help manage the risk associated with the weather and with irrigation systems by providing timely and accurate information.
This gives Turf Managers greater confidence in their management decisions.
Customers, regulatory authorities and the public are increasingly demanding that products and services,
including sports turf, are provided in an environmentally friendly manner. In some instances, rights to irrigation
water may be dependent on being able to demonstrate environmentally sound water management principles.
Aquaflex soil moisture and temperature sensors can provide assurances to address both environmental and
quality management demands by demonstrating the use of sound environmental and quality management practices.