Soil data analysis

The importance of soil analysis to irrigation management.

jonesmar avatar
Written by jonesmar
Updated over a week ago

This article comprises one of a series of articles with technical content to help you to understand how our products work. This refers to the Irrigation Management product, Agrosmart Aqua. You can find below a list of other articles of this series regarding irrigation management:

Soil analysis data

In order to perform a good irrigation management it is necessary to know the physics characteristics of the soil. The soil is similar to a water tank for the plant and each soil has different water holding capacities. For this reason, physical analyzes of the soil are carried out in the areas where irrigation is carried out. These soil analyzes are representative only for the sampled location and depth.

These soil analyzes help us to identify the soil saturation, the field capacity(FC) and permanent wilting point(PWP). The saturation is the point that 100% spaces soil pores are filled with water. The field capacity is the amount of water that holds in the soil after gravimetric water content is drained out ( the content water in the soil macroporous that can be drained only to gravimetric action). The permanent wilting point refers to the water left on the soil that the plant is not able to consume.

The amount of total available water for a plant, known as available water capacity(AWC) is determined by the difference between water content of the soil water in field capacity and permanent wilting point. In a simple manner, we can say that the AWC is the size of the reservoir of water available for the plants.

The soil is porous and the voids can be named macropores (larger voids) and micropores (smaller voids). When the soil is saturated all porous is filled with water and does not have space for the air. But when the soil is well drained, the water will drain out of the macropores leaving air for the plant roots to breath. On the permanent wilting point already is still available in the soil. But the amount is so low that plants cannot consume it.

Exemplification of different amounts of water in the soil. adapted from Lajos(2011).

LAJOS, B. Soil Science. Debrecen: Universidade de Debrecen, 2011. 164p

Next article - Soil moisture

Did this answer your question?