Aquacheck is a soil moisture probe that is installed in the ground down to 60cm. The probe has 6 sensors distributed every 10cm from the surface to a depth of 60cm. One reading per sensor is logged every half an hour and the data is stored and then uploaded onto an online server every two hours where it can be visualized from any computer and tablet using an online software, www.aquacheckweb.com. The continuous monitoring and recording of the moisture is the same as having eyes under the ground and allows the user to irrigate only when the water is needed. Furthermore, the probe allows the user to know how deep the irrigation has penetrated.

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A lot of the current irrigation practices in Africa result in over irrigation (too much water) which is a waste of precious resource, but also has a negative effect on crop production as excess water does not allow oxygen to be sucked into the soil. With no oxygen, the roots of the crops are not able to respire and so they do not develop properly, leading to weaker, less resilient crops which are more prone to disease and which are not producing optimally. Furthermore, irrigating above the field capacity of the soil (the soil’s full point) means that water is free flowing straight through the profile, carrying with it all the nutrients dissolved which are therefore lost in leaching and end up contaminating water sources.

Aquacheck allows managing your irrigation water precisely and with confidence. Utilizing the probe effectively will bring about the following advantages:

  • Reduced leaching of nutrients;
  • Reduced contamination of water sources
  • Reduced usage of water;
  • Reduction of water pumping costs;
  • Reduced fertilizer use;
  • Improved crop health

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