Evaluating two irrigation controllers under subsurface drip irrigated tomato crop

Hussein M. Al-Ghobari, Fawzi S. Mohammad, Mohamed S. A. El Marazky

Abstract


Smart systems could be used to improve irrigation scheduling and save water under Saudi Arabia’s present water crisis scenario. This study investigated two types of evapotranspiration-based smart irrigation controllers, SmartLine and Hunter Pro-C2, as promising tools for scheduling irrigation and quantifying plants’ water requirements to achieve water savings. The effectiveness of these technologies in reducing the amount of irrigation water was compared with the conventional irrigation scheduling method as a control treatment. The two smart irrigation sensors were used for subsurface irrigation of a tomato crop (cv. Nema) in an arid region. The results showed that the smart controllers significantly reduced the amount of applied water and increased the crop yield. In general, the Hunter Pro-C2 system saved the highest amount of water and produced the highest crop yield, resulting in the highest water irrigation efficiency compared with the SmartLine controller and the traditional irrigation schedule. It can be concluded that the application of advanced scheduling irrigation techniques such as the Hunter controller under arid conditions can realise economic benefits by saving large amounts of irrigation water.


Keywords


smart irrigation; ET controllers; subsurface irrigation; automatic controllers; irrigation water use efficiency; arid region; tomato yields

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2016144-8615