Irrigation timing can be crucial for almond growers, and to help growers determine optimum irrigation schedules the Almond Board of California worked with irrigation experts to create an online tool to help.
Grower Chuck Dirkse tells us about the almond irrigation calculator. Almond Update – Irrigation Calculator
From the Almond Board:
To help almond growers determine optimum irrigation schedules using the best technology available, the Almond Board of California (ABC), in partnership with irrigation experts, has defined an Almond Irrigation Improvement Continuum. ABC is committed to helping growers improve irrigation management and scheduling, and continuously works to add tools to help support this goal.
In conjunction with the Continuum, ABC has developed an Irrigation Calculator, available on the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) website, SustainableAlmondGrowing.org. The online tool calculates the amount and timing of water to be applied to almond orchards based on evapotranspiration (ET) and information about the individual orchard and irrigation system. Because the calculation is automated, growers save time, and because the tool is integrated with active California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) stations to determine ETo, irrigation schedules are based on local data, specific to local growing conditions.
Links to Weather Stations
The Irrigation Calculator has built-in links to CIMIS, which has weather stations throughout the state to measure not only weather conditions, but also how much moisture plants are transpiring. Growers select which weather station is closest to their operation to receive the most accurate information. The time needed for different irrigation systems to replace the water lost in a specific time period will be determined and provided through the online calculator.
To use the Irrigation Calculator, growers will need to enter information about their orchard, including row and tree spacing, soil texture and root depth, as well as some basic information about their irrigation setup. Once this information is entered, the Irrigation Calculator will provide information for weekly irrigation run times.