Optimal placement of proximal sensors for precision irrigation in tree crops
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Soil water or plant water status-based precision irrigation has the potential to improve water productivity. In this study, the question of number as well as placement of proximal sensors called leaf monitors that provide plant water status information has been addressed, to assist in implementation of precision irrigation. To accomplish this task, an algorithm based on the Fuzzy C-Means logic that utilized spatial variability in soil and plant attributes was developed. First, stable soil properties such as soil texture, digital elevation and apparent soil electrical conductivity data were used to create management zones (MZ). Following the creation of MZ, stem water potential data from an almond orchard and a vineyard located in California were used to determine number as well as the placement location of sensors within each MZ. The methodology and algorithm developed successfully indicated the number of sensors that need to be used and the location of the trees where the sensors should be installed.
KeywordsPrecision irrigation Management zones Proximal sensors Optimal placement of sensors
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support received from California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Almond Board of California, E & J Gallo Wineries and Technological Federal University of Paraná to conduct this study.
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