Alternative irrigation scheduling
Miller, Luke Daniel
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Recently, smartphone applications have been developed that schedule irrigation based on crop coefficients and real-time weather data. Called the SmartIrrigation™ application (smartirrigationapps.org), these tools have the potential to aid farmers in conserving water and nutrients, while maintaining crop yields. To determine the efficacy of the new SmartIrrigationTM applications for watermelons and tomatoes, trials were conducted comparing them to automated soil-moisture based irrigation (tensiometers) and current recommendations based on traditional water-balance methods. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) ‘Melody’ and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) ’Red Bounty’ were planted into raised beds of black plastic mulch in spring 2016 and 2017 to determine the ability of the SmartIrrigationTM application to accurately schedule irrigation. Total water use, soil moisture at depths of 15, 25, and 36 cm, as well as yield, and internal quality parameters were recorded in both years of the study.