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A Self-Calibrated Environmental Friendly Automatic Irrigation System

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21883)
Authors:   Shichao Ou, Liancheng Chen, Haibo Chen, Stephen Herbert
Keywords:   Self-Calibrated, Automatic Irrigation System, over-irrigation, prevent nutrient leaching

Fertilizer nutrient leaching into ground water has serious environmental consequences. With the use of automatic irrigation systems the duration of irrigation must be determined to prevent overirrigation and an increase in the potential of nutrient leaching. However, such parameters vary greatly from soil types to soil type, and are influenced by real-time weather conditions as well as crop type and growth stage. This research proposes a two-sensor automatic irrigation system that is capable of performing selfcalibration on-line such that the appropriate parameterization is used to both conserve water and prevent nutrient leaching. A proto-type was constructed for proof-of-concept. Experiments were carried out using three distinctly different soil types. Results show that by using this system, approximately 40% more water was conserved compared to manual irrigation system. More importantly, the irrigation water was maintained at a desired depth to thereby reducing the potential of nutrients leaching to ground water. This study indicated the system has great significance in reducing non-point source pollution, lowering management costs, and has water conservation benefits.

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