Plant & Food Research, HortPlus and Hawke's Bay Regional Council are working together with the horticulture industry including; Pipfruit, Summerfruit, Kiwfruit and Winegrowers, to create a tool to help growers with irrigation efficiency.
CropIRLog or Crop Irrigation Log is the "missing piece of the jigsaw" for vineyard owners and orchardists to assist growers in achieving efficient, reliable and accurate irrigation scheduling.
CropIRLog is a simple to use, real time irrigation calculator, based on Plant & Food Research's considerable existing and ongoing plant water use knowledge.
There are two versions available: CropIRLog Limited and CropIRLog Full versions. CropIRLog Limited requires you to enter your own weather data and is freely available to all kiwifruit, pipfruit, summerfruit, winegrowers and their consultants. CropIRLog Full version links directly to the Hortplus weather station network to access weather data and a 10 day forecast. This version is only available by subscription or via support from industry organisations on their website.
Despite soil moisture monitoring now being common place, its outputs can have limitations when used alone, for example, cost influences on replication and the potential for instrument failure or operator error. As a result some growers and consultants already run a climatic water budget based on PET (Potential Evapotranspiration) with a canopy adjustment factor as a means of verification. However, this is not an easy task for growers to undertake manually for tree and vine crops.
The outputs from CropIRLog are intended to assist growers in irrigation scheduling decision making and to be used in conjunction with or as a comparison to actual soil moisture monitoring data.