Story: Irrigation and drainage

Measuring soil moisture

Measuring soil moisture

For efficient irrigation, the farmer or orchardist needs to measure or estimate the soil moisture. This can be done by drying a sample of soil and calculating the moisture level, or by calculating evapotranspiration (the loss of water through evaporation and plant transpiration). An alternative is a time domain reflectometry (TDR) meter, which, when pushed into the soil, calculates the time taken for a signal to go between the two probes. This is directly related to the soil moisture content. Ross Gray from AgResearch is holding a TDR probe.

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AgResearch
Photograph by Ross Gray

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How to cite this page:

Terry Heiler, 'Irrigation and drainage - Irrigation methods', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/19646/measuring-soil-moisture (accessed 23 July 2019)

Story by Terry Heiler, published 24 Nov 2008