How many irrigators monitor soil moisture?


This logbook is different to most. We don’t have any stories about the antics of MEA staff and our agent network. Nothing about new sensors, new MEA records broken, or a new Green Brain feature (although, we have done a few of all of those things).

In this logbook, we’d like your input.

You see, in 2002, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that over 6000 irrigators had added some form of soil moisture monitoring to their business to improve water use efficiency and to improve their yields, crop quality, reduce their costs, etc.

Late last year, the ABS released their latest findings about water use on Australian farms. Apparently, less than one in five Australian irrigators use local evaporation rates or soil moisture measurements to inform their irrigation decisions.

The vast majority use general observations, or some form of calendar based scheduling to decide when to irrigate. While we already had a sense of this, we didn’t realise quite how few irrigators were using technology to guide their watering.

Perhaps even more worrying though is that the total number of irrigators that installed new soil moisture monitoring equipment in 2002 was higher than the total number of irrigators that claim to use soil moisture monitoring equipment in the latest survey. That suggests that continued use of monitoring technology seems to be even lower than its initial uptake!

So we’d appreciate your help. This link takes you to a survey. There are four questions. No more. The survey will take 2 minutes to finish. And it’s completely anonymous.

We hope to find out a bit more about why technology to measure irrigation inputs that improves crop yields, and crop quality, has such a low uptake.

Of course, we’ll let you know what we find out in an upcoming Logbook, so stay tuned!


Click here to give us your feedback.


Water Drops in Soil
How do you monitor your soil moisture?


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