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Fully automated center pivot using crop canopy temperature; preliminary result, A




Peters, R. Troy, author
Evett, Steven R., author
U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisher

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It has been shown that the temperature-time threshold (TTT) method of automatic irrigation scheduling is a viable alternative to traditional soil water based irrigation scheduling in the Southern High Plains. This method was used to fully automate a center pivot in the panhandle of Texas. An array of 16 IRTCs were mounted on the pivot and connected to a datalogger also mounted on the pivot. A separate array of IRTCs were located in stationary positions in the field and connected to a separate datalogger. Two different spread spectrum (900 MHz) radios were connected to a desktop computer located nearby that queried both dataloggers, got pivot status information, and sent commands to the center pivot control panel. Using scheduled data collection intervals, this computer was able to collect the data, analyze it, determine need for an irrigation event, and issue control commands to completely automate the center pivot. The field under the pivot was divided into pie slices with every other pie slice an automatic treatment. The pie slices in between served as the control and these were scheduled manually to refill the soil water content to field capacity on a weekly basis using neutron probe soil moisture measurements. The preliminary results from this experiment are presented and the statistics showing the differences between the two methods are given.


Presented at Ground water and surface water under stress: competition, interaction, solutions: a USCID water management conference on October 25-28, 2006 in Boise, Idaho.

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