Development of an innovative low cost weighing lysimeter for potted plants: Application in lysimetric stations

Journal ar
Agricultural Water Management
  • Volumen: 151
  • Fecha: 01 marzo 2015
  • Páginas: 103-113
  • ISSN: 18732283 03783774
  • Tipo de fuente: Revista
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2014.09.020
  • Tipo de documento: Artículo
  • Editorial: Elsevier
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.For optimal, cost-saving management of irrigation water, precise knowledge is required of the overall water consumption made by the different species and varieties of plants existing in the area, under different conditions of climate, soil, etc. The most accurate way to determine this water consumption is by using weighing lysimeters. Unfortunately, because of current high costs, very few lysimetric stations are used in crop management to reveal real water consumption. Hence the need to develop new, low-cost lysimeters which make lysimetric stations available at an affordable price, and thus contribute to improve the management of water resources. This paper describes the development of a new, low-cost lysimeter, and its technical and economic valuation through the implementation of a 16-unit lysimetric station applied to analyse water consumption in potted plants. The system has been verified as highly accurate, easy to set up, and capable of filtering and storing data in real time, as well as controlling the electrovalves devised to open or close the tank where water drained from the pots is stored. This new agromotic system offers countless possibilities to accurately determine water consumption of any given plant. Additionally, if we consider its economic sustainability, proven by a study carried out for this specific purpose, which shows a positive net present value of the project, with a probability of 99%, it becomes a fascinating topic for research projects, as well as a highly recommended tool for crop productivity improvement.

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