Research Article Open Access

Evaluation of Soil Moisture Sensors under Intelligent Irrigation Systems for Economical Crops in Arid Regions

Mohamed Said Abdall El Marazky1, Fawzi Said Mohammad1 and Hussein Mohamed Al-Ghobari1
  • 1 Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia


Problem Statement: In irrigation water management, irrigation water use represents a substantial opportunity for agriculture water savings. Automation of irrigation systems, based on Soil Moisture Sensors Systems (SMSS) has the potential to provide maximum water use efficiency by maintaining soil moisture at optimum levels. Approach: The objective of this research was to evaluate the performance of soil moisture sensors under field conditions during growing season in two different irrigated. This evaluation to be conducted with regard to accuracy; precision; quickness of the response to moisture variation. Moreover to quantify the easiness of use, this encompasses installing and operating the instrument as well as interpreting the readings. Results: The Watermark resulted in higher tension readings than the tensiometers. While Watermark showed a consistent and increasingly drier estimate of water content compared to tensiometers. However, the trend of soil water tension curves that resulted from both treatments was very similar. The linear relationships of the Soil Moisture Content (SMC) obtained from all sensors and gravimetric measurement were observed to be best fit. The correlations (R2) are ranging from 0.96-0.98 and from 0.91-0.95 for tensiometers and watermarks successively. The statistical analyses indicate that changeability existed between soil water contents by the sensors and the gravimetric method. Conclusion: Soil Moisture Sensors Systems (SMSS) can be used: To monitor soil moisture sensors under wheat crop cultivation practices using intelligent irrigation system. The tensiometers and Watermarks were less responsive to the soil drying between irrigations than GM. So, Watermark can operate in a drier range than tensiometers, but with a lower resolution at the wet end of soil water tension. Anyhow, watermark remains a good tool for automatic irrigation scheduling and be integrated with inelegant irrigation systems even the noted drawbacks.

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Volume 6 No. 2, 2011, 287-300


Submitted On: 24 March 2011 Published On: 24 June 2011

How to Cite: El Marazky, M. S. A., Mohammad, F. S. & Al-Ghobari, H. M. (2011). Evaluation of Soil Moisture Sensors under Intelligent Irrigation Systems for Economical Crops in Arid Regions. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 6(2), 287-300.

  • 16 Citations



  • Sensor performance
  • soil water content sensor
  • statistical analysis
  • Soil Moisture Content (SMC)
  • Soil Moisture Sensors Systems (SMSS)
  • intelligent irrigation system
  • Evapotranspiration (ET)
  • Gravimetric Method (GM)
  • Control Treatment (CT)
  • Relative Root Means Square Error (RRMSE)