Understanding your soil is critical to irrigation scheduling. Below are some resources to help you understand your soil type and how much water it holds.
Soil profile builder
Soil profile builder is a tool that helps you determine how much water your soil holds.
Irrigation scheduling using soil water budgets
Soil water budgets are a simple low cost method to schedule your irrigation. Inputs (rainfall and irrigation) and outputs (plant water use and any drainage from over irrigation) are recorded as a daily water budget in mm. The soils water holding characteristics define the maximum amount of water that can be stored, again in mm.
Soil water budgets work well for pasture irrigation where the daily Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) can be used as the measure of plant water use. For other crops PET needs to be adjusted by a crop factor, this reflects the crop type and/or growth stage.
INZ Irrigation Essentials and Irrigation Management resource books provide detailed information on understanding soil water, climate measurements for irrigation, plant water use, and how to use these to schedule your irrigation. These are available free to INZ members
Soil water budget spreadsheet
Below are a list of commercial water budgeting tools and services available in NZ, note soil water budgets are usually used in conjunction with soil moisture monitoring.
Bay of Plenty dairy farmers have the opportunity to join a free workshop showing them how to optimise their irrigation use. The workshop will be run by IrrigationNZ and will cover how to assess how well irrigation systems are performing…… Read more
With challenging dry conditions continuing across the Upper South Island, Marlborough and Tasman irrigators will have the opportunity to find out how to be more efficient in their water use at upcoming workshops hosted by IrrigationNZ. “Understanding how to monitor….. Read more
With much of New Zealand experiencing exceptionally dry conditions, IrrigationNZ has some advice for irrigators on how to make the most efficient use of water over summer. According to NIWA, several areas in the South and North Island came close….. Read more
IrrigationNZ supports Minister of Regional Development Shane Jones’s announcement that regional economic development funding could support some water irrigation projects. “Water infrastructure plays a vital role in creating resilient rural communities,” says IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis. “Several New Zealand….. Read more
IrrigationNZ will be back on farms this summer testing irrigation systems and helping farmers improve the efficiency of their irrigation. Last summer, IrrigationNZ in partnership with Environment Canterbury, developed a new testing programme which saw 131 Ashburton farms have their….. Read more
November 7, 2017 - February 28, 2018
Is your irrigation equipment operating as it should? What improvements could be made? These are questions that can be technically challenging and costly. To help irrigating farmers navigate to Good Management….. Read more