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Potato water content impact on soil moisture measurement by neutron meter

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A field study was conducted to examine the effect of the water content of potato tubers on the neutron count ratios of a neutron probe in an irrigated potato field. At the 20 cm depth, where tubers are concentrated, the neutron count ratios within the potato row (CW) were significantly higher than the neutron count ratios between the rows (CB). In contrast, the measured soil water contents within the rows (SW) at this depth, tended to be less than those measured between the rows (SB). At 45 cm depth, results were similar in a dry but not a wet year. The SW values, in contrast, were less than SB. Neither (CW-CB) or (SW-SB) were significant at 75 cm depth and values of (CW-CB) and (SW-SB) were similar. This study provides qualitative information regarding the influence of a potato tuber water content on neutron measurements, resulting in an overestimations of soil moisture in a potato field. Further studies should be conducted to develop relationships for corrections.

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Contribution no 3879215

Contribution no 3879215

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Foroud, N., Lynch, D.R. & Entz, T. Potato water content impact on soil moisture measurement by neutron meter. Plant Soil 148, 101–106 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02185389

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Key words

  • neutron probe
  • neutron count ratio
  • neutron probe measurement
  • Potato tubers
  • soil moisture
  • water content