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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Carefoot J M, Nyborg M and Lindwall C W 1990 Differential fertilizer immobilization in two tillage systems influence grains N concentration. Can. J. Soil Sci. 70, 215–225.
Dickey G L 1982 Radiation safety calibration and use of the neutron soil moisture gauge. USDA-SCS, Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln, NE.
Dudas M J and Pawluk S 1982 Reevaluation of the occurrence of interstratified clays and other Phyllosilicates in southern Alberta soil. Can. J. Soil Sci. 62, 61–69.
Gandar P W and Tanner C B 1976 Leaf growth, tuber growth and water potential in potatoes. Crop Sci. 16, 534–538.
Harris P M 1978 The Potato Crop. pp 244–277. Chapman and Hall, London.
Mackerron D K L and Jefferies R A 1987 Access tube location within a simulated potato crop and the measurement of soil moisture with a neutron probe. Plant and Soil 102, 253–255.
Oosterveld M and Chang C 1980 Emperical relationships between laboratory determinations of soil texture and moisture retention. Can. Agr. Eng. 22, 149–151.
SAS Institute, Inc. SAS/STAT User's guide: Vol 2, Version 6, Fourth edition. SAS Institute, Inc., Gary, NC, 1990.
Contribution no 3879215
Contribution no 3879215
About this article
Cite this article
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
- neutron probe
- neutron count ratio
- neutron probe measurement
- Potato tubers
- soil moisture
- water content