"We had a GDot in a block of plant cane, supplied and monitored by Farmacist. as well as tensiometers in other blocks under the same arrangement.
The unit we had was initially installed about 100m down the paddock which meant having to walk down the row to read it. Once the cane grew, making it harder to access, a 100m cable was added so that the display could be moved out to the headland where it could be easily monitored.
Initially we were a bit sceptical as to what the unit was telling us. Our gut feel was that the block was wetter than what the GDot was telling us but we irrigated using it as a guide regardless. Once the cane got to full canopy and we started taking growth measurements, we realised that it had probably been a better indicator of soil moisture in the early stage than we initially thought.
The most critical use for the GDot for us was knowing when to start irrigating after a rain event. We didn’t have much rain this season but, with the few rain events we had, the GDot told us whether the soil profile had been filled to capacity or not and how soon we would need to start irrigating again. Every time, it told us that we had to start earlier than we otherwise would have. Knowing how much growth slowed when soil moisture was low got us thinking how much we’ve lost over the years with all those lost irrigation days.
While we can’t quantify the benefits of using a GDot in $ terms, we expect some of our plant cane blocks this year will yield higher than they have for many years but that is only speculation until we harvest them. How much of any gain can be attributed to better irrigation is speculation but there’s no doubt a properly set up and calibrated GDot is a valuable tool in any irrigated crop."
Con J Christofides
"MEA have been providing Australian made, innovative and practical monitoring solutions for wine growers since 1984, and are here for the long haul. Thanks for your continued support of the Australian Wine Industry."
"We have 48 MEA moisture probes over five avocado farms in the Bundaberg & Childers area. We honestly don’t know how we could accurately irrigate without them. We can accurately monitor how far water goes down through the soil profile with each irrigation or rainfall event and adjust our irrigation schedule accordingly. We can see if we have underdone or overdone the water or if we are not keeping up. With the graphed information we can estimate in advance of when we will need to irrigate again, given the current water use and weather forecast. As it can take 48 hours or more to complete an irrigation program on some farms, we can juggle the orchard block priority to suit given the information from GreenBrain. The ability to include notes, rainfall and irrigation records on GreenBrain is a convenient historical tool also. If there is any doubt about the graph on GreenBrain we can double check in the paddock with a ‘Dig-stick’, and so far the graph and dig-stick have always correlated."