Soil moisture & plant stress
With increasing water scarcity, irrigated agriculture is often at the forefront of blame for inefficiency. According to scientific research, more than 50% of water withdrawn from freshwater sources, never reaches the crops and is either lost from poor water management, or eventually seeps through the soil solution, polluting ground water systems.
Soil health is critical in improving water use and crop production. Healthy soils have the capacity to absorb more water, promote plant growth, protect watersheds, and prevent water and air pollution from agro-chemicals, and organic waste. The positive impact of soil fertility is vast; promoting pest and pathogen suppression, and increased availability of nutrients for plant uptake.
Soil moisture content is an important component in determining soil health and fertility. By maintaining a healthy soil moisture level, plants are more resilient to stressors, like drought, pest, and disease. Soil-borne plant diseases cause major economic losses globally, many parasitic, bacterial and fungal diseases can be mitigated with proper moisture management and no less, can be a straightforward method for reducing crop losses.
The Impact of Soil Moisture on the Red Palm Weevil
In a study by Aldryhim & Al-Bukiri (2003), there was a clear correlation between high soil moisture levels and the occurrence of Red Palm Weevil (RPW) proliferation in date palm orchards.
In orchards with strict irrigation management infestation of the RPW was significantly less. Optimized irrigation not only improves the date palm growth and production but increases their resilience to RPW infestation.
Sensoterra partner, Smart Farm Sensing, implements subsurface irrigation, smart soil moisture sensing and insect traps monitoring for optimized management of date palm production. By integrating data into their AgrIoT platform, Smart Farm Sensing gives farmers insights into agricultural management requirement to optimize resource use, reduce inputs, and improve yields.
For more information, visit www.sensoterra.com and www.smartfarmsensing.com