Author Topic: Condition and Soil Monitoring  (Read 2108 times)

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Offline Wxhound

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Condition and Soil Monitoring
« on: October 14, 2022, 07:14:31 PM »
I participate in the CoCoRaHS Condition Monitoring Report reporting (CMR) but not the Soil Moisture reporting.  Both Ambient and Davis offer probes that report the "percentage" of moisture in the soil on a 0 to 10 point scale where the probes are available at a modest cost (<$100) and connect to their wx stations/consoles.  There are some probes that you can stick in the ground and read the same values on a 0 to 10 scale for anywhere from $7 to $24 but the reading is done manually.

I don't have the time or gram scale to invest in weighing soil weight before and after drying a soil sample.  Therefore, I am interested in using such a probe.

The main focus of the CMR is to gauge the overall condition of a local area from Severely Dry to Severely Wet.  It's very subjective and subject to interpretation of natural "signs" such as burnt up grass or grass underwater.  Trees and bushes that have droopy leaves or vigorous looking leaves. I assume most of the reports are geared to presenting an "agricultural" point of view but then we harvest trees.  To me, this is a very complex analysis that is being done by this amateur.

I am wondering about buying and using one of these soil moisture probes as a gauge for selecting one of the 7 Condition Scale Bar selections (Severely Dry to Severely Wet).  CoCoRaHS has a writeup on how to gauge the selection at:
plus other links off the original.

Our recent pattern is of one (or two) very heavy rains followed by a week or two (maybe three) of little to no rain.  This is perplexing in that the results of the totals is close to the monthly average but there are times toward the end of the dry spell where vegetation is very stressed.

Any thoughts from professionals who monitor such conditions on use of these probes and any advice even from farmers and horticulturalists would be appreciated.