Scheduling Considerations for Automated Irrigation in the 1990s

in HortTechnology
D.M. GlenSoil Scientist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, 45 Wiltshire Road, Kearneysville, WV 25430

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This work focuses on recent developments and examples of irrigation scheduling that concern where in the root system and when in the plant's phenology water should be applied. Information is provided on using and measuring soil variability to help schedule irrigation. An irrigation model is described that emphasizes the soil water-holding capacity and root distribution in designing irrigation systems and scheduling water application. Recent research is reviewed on the subject of fruit crops that can tolerate severe water stress during specific growth periods of the fruit. Finally, a method of using infrared thermometers and canopy temperature data in cloudy, humid regions is presented that has the potential to extend the use of this technology.

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