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Soil moisture is one of the most critical elements for successful plant growth and profitable agriculture. We’re lucky in NZ that, for the most part, we’re gifted with (mostly) adequate rainfall to produce high quality primary industry commodities from. It’s our responsibility as land owners and managers that we use this resource in the most efficient way possible, ensuring that we’re not over-irrigating and leaching nutrients, but not under-irrigating and reducing production. Soil moisture is not only pertinent to irrigated farming though, it’s fundamental to the success of all land-based primary industry sectors, even dryland. And at Agri Optics, we wanted to bring a solution to New Zealand’s agriculturalists to help them manage this precious resource more efficiently, without blowing out their budget.
The AquaCheck probe is a high quality, affordable capacitance based soil probe which is compatible with a range of telemetry options and end user platforms. The probes are a vertical-oriented probe that is easy to install, has a short ‘settling’ time and has multiple soil moisture and temperature sensors down their length. Typically, the AquaCheck probes have a soil moisture AND a temperature sensor every 10cm down their length, giving more information to make better decisions on farm. All information from the AquaCheck probes is wirelessly telemetered to AquaCheckWEB where all the soil moisture and temperature data can be viewed, recommendations made and forecasts given for irrigation requirements or soil moisture trends going forward. Additionally, the AquaCheck soil moisture probe data can also be pushed to other websites so that you can view your AquaCheck soil moisture data along-side other information that you may use for your irrigation scheduling.
AquaCheck has more than 20,000 probes installed in more than 20 countries around the world, highlighting that it’s a quality product, and here to stay to supply accurate and reliable soil moisture information to land managers around the world.
The AquaCheck soil moisture probe is jam packed full of great features positioning them as a leader in the soil moisture monitoring market around the world. Having timely and accurate soil moisture data is fundamental to running an efficient farming business. It allows you to avoid over-watering and potential leaching of nutrients and wasting of energy, optimise crop growth by carefully managing your inputs, ensure responsible environmental management on your farm and ultimately take your irrigation management from a ‘guess game’ with a spade in a lot of cases, to an accurate measured approach which is likely to save time, money, water and nutrients while often increasing production.
There are two types of probe in the AquaCheck range; ‘sub-surface’ and ‘classic’.
The classic probe is positioned with the top of it sitting above the soil surface, making it easy to visually identify it’s location if needed. The classic probes are great for cropping type situations where there are no grazing animals or mowing to be taken place. The sub-surface probe is buried under the soil, with only the cable running through ground to the wireless telemetry unit. The sub-surface probe is great for environments where you might be mowing or grazing the area where the probe is. Often probes in these types of environments are placed close to fence-lines so that the telemetry unit can be attached to a post, up out of the way of grazing animals and machinery.
The AquaCheck probes come in a range of lengths and sensor configurations, however the most common ones for the NZ environment are the 400mm and 600mm length probes that each have soil moisture and temperature sensors every 100mm down their length.
The AquaCheck range also includes it’s own telemetry which is well priced and a reliable plug-and-play option with the probes. Additionally, rain gauges are also included in the range to allow accurate measurement and graphing of the irrigation or rainfall received in the given location. The rain gauges prove very handy for checking that irrigators are actually applying the irrigation rate that they say they are, and remedying if not.
For more information on the AquaCheck soil moisture probe range contact Agri Optics to talk to one of the team or request a quote here.
Phone: 0800 482 682
Level 1 167 Main Street,
Canterbury, New Zealand