Soil monitoring to aid farmers with water, fertilizer managementNew soil moisture probes are expected to save water for irrigation, keep nutrien...Soil monitoring to aid farmers with water, fertilizer management
New soil moisture probes are expected to save water for irrigation, keep nutrients out of groundwater and save money for farmers.
The Nature Conservancy and researchers at the University of Florida with funding from Mosaic Company, Inc. have started monitoring water levels in soils for Southwest Florida farmers who will be able to access the data via a digital dashboard.
“The whole key is the soil moisture probes are a great tool for the ag industry to manage their irrigation which in return manages their nutrients because you are not pushing the nutrients out of the root zone of the plants,” according to David Royal, Florida Nutrient Stewardship Project manager.
'No sleep for farmers':Polk growers prepare crops to weather freezing temperatures
Freeze of 2022:Growers across Central Florida still assessing damage to crops from weekend freeze
Gas pains:Fuel prices in Polk County soar as residents and businesses try to cope
This soil moisture probe transmits moisture and salinity data to a dashboard which farmers can access to monitor their crops.
There are currently 83 soil probes across the state in fields growing crops such as green peppers and corn in a soil moisture data collecting network, according to Vivek Sharma, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida.
The Nutrient Stewardship program – or 4R Nutrient Stewardship program – serves as a guide for farmers trying to keep fertilizers on and within their fields.