Time-lapse soil imaging in irrigated cotton fields

Posted 28 August 2020

Results published from a Cotton RDC research project by UNSW has demonstrated how 2-dimensional time-lapse images can be used to map soil moisture status beneath an irrigated cotton growing field (Iverach et al 2017Zare et al 2020).

 Specifically, the research has shown that soil moisture can be mapped during the wetting- (i.e. irrigation) and monitored during the drying-phase, using commonly used electromagnetic induction data and inversion modelling software.

Future research is required to develop methods to map soil moisture status and wetting-up pathways in adjacent rows and across a whole field to enable 3-dimensional time-lapse imaging.

The time-lapse monitoring approach, has implications for soil and water use and irrigation management and will potentially allow farmers and consultants to identify inefficiencies in water application rates.

It can also be used as a research tool to potentially assist precision irrigation practices and to test the efficacy of different methods of irrigation in terms of water delivery in near real-time.

Further information about this research can be requested from Associate Professor John Triantafilis

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