Using Electrical Resistance Sensors for Monitoring Soil Moisture to Determine Table Grape Water Consumption in the Caborca Sonora Region

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Manuel de Jesús Valenzuela-Ruiz , Viticulture, INIFAP, Caborca, Sonora, Mexico
Fabian Robles-Contreras , Irrigation and Alternative Crops, INIFAP, Caborca, Sonora, Mexico
Raul L. Grijalva-Contreras , Oliveculture, INIFAP, Caborca Sonora, Mexico
Ruben Macias-Duarte , Nutrition, INIFAP, Caborca, Sonora, Mexico
Table grape is the most important fruit in the Caborca region,  because the planted surface (3500 ha), labor and economic flow that originates. The main problems for grape production in this region are the scarcity of water availability and the high cost of extraction from wells. Despite this, the tendency is to over irrigate. The objective of this study was to determine the water consumption in commercial plantations of grape vines according to the monitoring of soil moisture using electrical resistance sensors. The moisture monitoring was carried out in fields of cooperating growers and we installed two sensors every 10 hectares to a depth of 40 and 80 cm. Readings were taken daily at the same time in the months from May to October and we tried to keep moisture at field capacity (20 centibars) during this period of time. The most important results we found indicate that maintaining soil  moisture at field capacity, water saving was 19.6%, where irrigation water was 91 cm in the control, and 73 cm in plots with sensor treatment during the sampling period. No differences were observed in production or foliage development.