We are going to dedicate this article to irrigation controlled by humidity sensors / probes in irrigation of walnut intensive, because an isolated tree is not the same as a plantation where each tree is quite close to the next
The walnut plantations intensive As we have already said in another article, they are planned with distances of about 7 meters between plant and plant. In some varieties, it is convenient that they be at 9 meters if we are going to let the trunk be dedicated to wood and they are therefore more vigorous. Intensive walnut plantations are increasingly abundant in Spain.
In these plantations the absorption of water and fertilizers is increased by the density of the plants. The usual thing is to put drip irrigation, superficial or buried.
Walnut is a large tree and needs controlled irrigation for its cultivation, both for the fruit, the nuts, and for the formation of wood.
Optimized irrigation with humidity probes in walnut irrigation
Irrigation has the function of covering the water needs of the plant at all times. Avoid not suffering from deficiencies or water stress, that is, having the water you need at all times.
We must measure the following factors:
- Evaporation of water from the soil : as the wet bulb is more external and the heat increases, more water evaporates. In this sense, it is more advisable that the drip be buried. In any case controlled and optimized.
- Perspiration : the walnut is a very leafy tree, with a large crown and that makes the perspiration greater. If this process is disturbed, the walnut closes stomata and suffers water stress.
- Composition of the soil : directly influences the wet bulb that is formed with watering and root development. As it is sandier, the bulb is more elongated and may not nourish the entire root system.
- Accumulation of salts : salinity is a very problematic issue in intensive plantations and needs a control so that if they occur they can be corrected.
- The quality of the water: we must analyze the irrigation water and assess with the conductivity meters the accumulations of salts and the pH.
We control all these factors with humidity sensors / probes in the irrigation of walnut and other crops.
Walnut wet bulbs with moisture sensors
In the images we can see the different wet bulbs and the different accumulations of salts that occur depending on whether the irrigation is buried or superficial and also according to the composition of the land.
In sandy soils the wet bulb will be longer. As they are loamier or clay loam, the bulb is more rounded.
Smart sensors / probes must be installed at different depths, taking into account all the above parameters. We can see it in the images.
In land with underground irrigation, the accumulation of salts is less because there is less evaporation. The wet bulb is more underground.
For your control Plantae proposes:
- Install two or three sensors, as shown in the images, to control the depth of humidity and conductivity.
- In clay soils the small roots die easily and this impairs the absorption of nutrients.
- In the sandy ones, the water is less retained and you have to take care that you have what you need.
- In the silty we can plant but the production will be less. It is not highly recommended. It is easier to produce puddles that are harmful to the root system.
Controlled irrigation with Spanish walnut moisture probes
Control with sensors / probe in walnut irrigation wants to ensure that the plant does not suffer any water stress throughout its development, increasing the quality and quantity of fruit.
We must take into account:
- The need for water in the walnut grip .
- Irrigation control is very important in fruit formation. :
- Lack of water control, causes a shortening in the life of the tree, lowering the quality and production:
- Avoid water shortages when climatic conditions produce more evapotranspiration which can be very high in very hot seasons, due to the amount of foliage the tree has.
- Control the accumulation of salts that if they are excessive can impair the good absorption of the roots because they compact the soil and harm the tree.
- Excess water:
- Impairs the aeration of the roots.
- Decreased oxygen with the onset of diseases.
With smart humidity probes we can measure:
- Soil moisture , both in surface and underground drip irrigation. The buried is deeper and prevents more evaporation. But it does not prevent perspiration that can make the wet bulb diminish and we cannot observe it if it is not with probes, when it is buried.
- The temperature of the subsoil , with this we assess whether the root system is at risk of diseases such as fungi.
- Conductivity , controlling the amount of accumulated salts, with the serious danger for the absorption of nutrients.
- We can also measure with a rain gauge the amount of rainwater that the plantation receives and thus better regulate irrigation.
- The irrigation flow with a flow meter that marks the start and end times for each irrigation, the total duration and the liters applied by means of a single jet meter. Thus, it allows the theoretical flow of the sector to be compared with its actual flow, obtaining a deviation percentage of the applied irrigation. Very useful when estimating the water consumption in the plots or the possible breakage of the irrigation system.
- The thermal integral with the Meteo station with a relative humidity and ambient temperature sensor at 1 m from the ground. Wireless sending of data to the platform. In addition, Plantae applies the data to calculate the Thermal Integral and the Cold Hours of your crop.
Monitoring by our agronomist engineers of the entire installation and control process.
The Hub / Receiver for Moisture Sensors / Probes in Walnut Irrigation
The Plantae®HUB / Receiver receives the data obtained with the smart sensors / probe and other weather devices, with a range of 700 meters, and in turn transfers them by GPRS to our web platform.
The farmer follows the measurements on his table or mobile, without going to the plantation.