The current trends in population growth pose a unique pressure on limited water resources, especially in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. In such water-stressed areas, irrigated agriculture requires efficient water application methods like the drip irrigation system. Sensor-based drip irrigation was developed by installing an automatic tensiometer in the experimental plot at 15 cm depth which was connected to an irrigation controller that was also connected to a solenoid valve installed at the main line of the drip.
The tensiometer was set at 15 kPa and 10 kPa as the lower and upper limits of soil moisture, respectively. The automatic tensiometer was designed to trigger irrigation when the soil moisture reaches the lower limit and interrupts and stops the irrigation when the upper limit is attained. The manual tensiometer was also installed in the field to serve as the control. The developed sensor-based drip irrigation system was used to assess the average number of leaves per plant, the leaf area index, and the yield and water productivity of the Roma VFN tomato variety. The average number of leaves per plant, the leaf area index, the average yield per hectare, and water productivity of the tomato were found to be 218, 2.27, 12.44 \ ℎZ B and 2.69 fƒ, respectively.
The sensor-based automated drip irrigation system was able to save 5% of water when compared to conventional drip irrigation systems, which can be used to irrigate other lands. In addition, the water productivity of tomatoes was also improved by 6% when compared to the conventional drip irrigation system. Thus, a sensor-based drip irrigation system has the power to not only reduce labor and maintain optimum soil moisture but also improve the yield and water productivity of the Roma VFN tomato variety.
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Ahmad, Lawal & Shanono, Nura. (2022). Development and Testing of Sensor-based Drip Irrigation to Improve Tomato Production in Semi-arid Nigeria.