Measuring soil moisture has become increasingly popular as a way to manage irrigation and crop health. There is a wide range of technology available to do this for a wide range of budgets, however, the selection can become confusing for users. This Info Sheet has been prepared to help you work out what the best technology is for your application and budget.
Things to think about
Your budget - also think about the power and consent costs of irrigating too much (common) or too little (rare)
Discrete or continuous measurement - do you want to take manual spot checks, or do you want a continuous data set that you can analyse on your computer?
Number of locations - do you need to measure at a number of different locations? (remembering that soil conditions can be highly variable on a single property)
Ease of use - who will be using the information or maintaining the gear?
Permanence - how long does the gear need to last?
Expandability - do you also want to measure other parameters such as rainfall, climate or pump run times?
Integration - how will you use the soil moisture data with your own knowledge and existing systems to make better decisions?