Hortau Suggests Soil Tension Monitoring During El Niño
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA - While El Niño has brought the San Joaquin Valley record amounts of rain this winter, it may not be time to start celebrating just yet, Hortau advises. The precision ag tech company says that using its soil tension monitoring systems, you can see that some growers in the Central Valley are surprisingly behind when it comes to their irrigation management programs early in the season.
During the most recent bloom, Hortau sent a team of grower support specialists to visit several almond orchards and use its soil tension sensors to measure plant stress and available water to a tree in real time.
While the region saw plenty of rainfall over the winter months, Hortau discovered that some of the almond orchards surveyed have not received the deep soil moisture needed to maximize production this year.
Growers don’t need to rely on a visit of Hortau to see their soil’s tension, however. Using the company’s proprietary soil tension platform, growers are able to identify the ideal “comfort zone” for their crops at various depths. Hortau reports that high soil tension (over 35 cbars), means an extremely dry soil profile and high amount of stress for almond trees going into the spring.
Of course, many factors contribute to the quality of any given crop, ensuring trees are within their optimal soil tension range at multiple depths throughout the year has proven to increase production, overall tree health, and also prevent over-watering and leaching of critical nutrients and fertilizers, according to Hortau.
Following its tests at the almond orchards, Hortau released a full report of its findings and why checking the water content of the soil is so crucial to growing the best quality product. To read Hortau’s full report, visit the company’s website here.