AquiMax® Slows Soil Drying and Buys More
Time Between Irrigation Cycles

2012 Midwest Research, York, NE

 

Soil tensiometers were installed to measure soil tension at a 6” depth with five replications, and readings were stored in a datalogger several times daily throughout the study period. AquiMax® was injected into center pivot irrigation on 19 July and 2 August, 2012 at a rate of 1 gal/ac. Compared to a non-treated control, AquiMax® resulted in more plant-available water (i.e., lower soil tension) throughout the study period.

Snapshot of three dry-down events (peaks) following irrigation events (valleys). The third dry-down event shows a 17-day period of no irrigation at the end of the study. AquiMax® treated soil had more plant-available water (i.e., lower soil tension) throughout the study.

The dry-down curves were isolated by omitting data points during irrigation cycles (valleys). Slopes were calculated by fitting lines to raw data points for each of the three dry-down events. These calculated slopes indicate the rate of soil drying. AquiMax® slowed the rate of soil drying by 35%.

Dry-down curves were isolated to calculate slopes, which indicate the rate of soil drying. AquiMax® slowed the rate of soil drying by 35%.

 

Soil tensiometers can be used to schedule irrigation events. For example, growers may choose to irrigate every time the soil reaches a tension of 80 centibars. With the slopes calculated above, the non-treated soil would require five irrigation events over a 60 day period (gray line below), whereas AquiMax® treated soil would only require three irrigation events (blue line below). Over a full growing season, AquiMax® has the potential to cut the number of irrigation cycles by 33%.

With soil tensiometer-based irrigation, AquiMax® can cut the number of irrigation cycles by slowing the rate of soil drying.