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Carolyn Hedley

Doctor of Philosophy, (Soil Science)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The development of proximal sensing methods for soil mapping and monitoring and their application to precision irrigation

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Hedley has developed a digital soil-based decision support tool to improve irrigation water use efficiency. This addresses the issue of unprecedented demands being placed on freshwaters by irrigation to meet food demands, both in New Zealand and globally. On-the-go electromagnetic soil mapping has been used to map and quantify soil variability at paddock and farm-scale. Irrigation management zones have then been defined on the basis of soil available water holding differences. The method produces digital soil water status maps which are available for upload to a fully automated variable rate irrigation sprinkler system. This enables irrigation to be scheduled according to soil differences, improving irrigation water use efficiency. Calculated potential irrigation water savings at six research study sites for the period of study 2004-2008 were between 9% and 26%.

Professor Ian Yule
Professor Adrian Collins
Mr Mike Tuohy