EVALUATION THE USE OF ELECTRONIC WIRELESS TENSIOMETERS IN THE IRRIGATION OF MAIN CROPS IN ABU DHABI
Two obstacles are associated with most of Abu Dhabi efforts to deal with the water shortage to sustain its agricultural sector. These problems are unskilled labors and lack of accurate crop water requirements data. Accurate information on crop water requirements is needed to help farmers improve their irrigation practices by better matching irrigation supply to crop water demand. A wireless capacitive sensor was evaluated in the irrigation of greenhouse tomato and cucumber in order to develop irrigation scheduling program. Amount of irrigation, yield, and water use efficiency were used to compare between the capacitive sensor system and three other irrigation orders obtained from FAO Penman-Monteith method to calculate the potential evapotranspiration as climate-based irrigation treatments (125%, 100%, and 75%). The results showed that the capacitive sensor gave accurate irrigation amount and t had the best yield. In addition, the data of this system helped in the development of a suitable irrigation scheduling program for the two crops. Such a smart irrigation system is a promising tool to be implemented in the regions that suffer from water shortage.