SoilWaterApp – monitoring soil water made easy

David Freebairn1, Brett Robinson1, David McClymont2, Steve Raine1, Erik Schmidt1, Victor Skowronski1, and Jochen Eberhard1.

1 University of Southern Queensland, West St, Toowoomba, Qld, 4350 www.soilwaterapp.net.au, david.freebairn@usq.edu.au

2 DHM Environmental Software Engineering Pty Ltd, Toowoomba, Qld, 4350

Abstract

The SoilWaterApp (SWApp) is an iOS App that has been developed for dryland and irrigation decision makers as a ready estimate of current soil water status during fallows and crops. SWApp offers a more robust, reliable and economic method for monitoring soil water and SWApp can provide a forward estimate of soil moisture based on historic weather. SWApp allows a user to answer questions such as: Do I have enough water to plant, given the risk of follow up rain? When should I irrigate? How much irrigation am I likely to need for the season? And, is there enough water left after a crop to plant another crop? Of course, many agronomic decisions are influenced by crop expectations, with soil water being an important part of this calculation.

SWApp provides a reliable estimate of soil water at the paddock level. SWApp’s estimates of plant available soil water are well within the errors encountered in field measurements (RMSE 30 mm) and customise for any paddock and is available wherever and whenever decisions are made. It does not need to be in mobile phone range to operate, although basic data needs (recent rainfall from BoM)) to be uploaded before going into the all familiar mobile phone blackspots! SWApp is a user friendly water balance simulator that deals with fallows, crops, and irrigation. It is freely available for download and provides robust estimations of soil water status which can be used wherever decisions are made.

 

Host

The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

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