It is often said here in the Mid-South that we are always 10 days from a drought! However, with the widespread and abundant rainfall received thus far in Mississippi, irrigation is not really a primary concern until we rebound to more typical summertime weather. With irrigation season ramping up, Mississippi State University Extension Service has lots of expertise and programs available to assist with your needs. One tool that we are using to better assess soil moisture and schedule appropriate irrigation is Watermark™ sensors.
The Watermark™ sensors are tension based sensors measuring field water holding capacity. The normal range of operation of the Watermark ™ sensors is from 0 to 200 cb, with 0 cb signifying a soil saturated with water, and 200 cb representing dangerously dry soil. Remember, irrigation trigger thresholds are 90cb-100cb prior to V14 in corn and 80cb-90cb prior to R3 in soybeans. Other factors, such as irrigation capacity, as well as crop growth stage may affect appropriate moisture level for scheduling irrigation. For example, we would suggest using a trigger point approximately 20 cb lower for older center pivots with limited capacity, compared to other irrigation systems. Link to Complete Article