The level of moisture in a soil will depend on the soil type. Heavier soils hold more water than light soils. But as the graph shows, the proportion of moisture available in the soil is much the same irrespective of soil type.
As a rule of thumb the proportion around 50% of the moisture in a fully wetted soil is available to the plant. For example, a sand may hold 10mm of water but only 5mm is available whilst a clay may hold 26mm of which 13mm is available.
Viewing soil moisture levels on the website is easy, a simple graph compares your current moisture levels with a full point and a stress point for the site where the hornet is installed. Armed with this information you are able to fine-tune your management. For irrigators this may mean adjusting run times or for dryland farmers adjusting crop type of nitrogen applications.
Using the hornet graphs you can track moisture and irrigation events and adjust run times to keep soil moisture levels within an optimum range. By doing this you meet the needs of the crop and present a quality surface without excessive water use.
This graph from the hornet shows the set points (upper line for over-watering or full point and lower line for under-watering or stress point) and the soil moisture level tracking between them. The aim is to maintain the soil moisture between the lines. Notice the soil moisture levels dropping below the stress point line indicating the need for additional irrigation.
On the Hornet website the data is displayed via graphs like this which are easy to use and understand.
The graph is a powerful display of what is happening under the surface. Once you get a feel for interpreting the graphs you will be able to make changes to your irrigation scheduling and immediately see the results.
The following case studies will give you a better understanding of the power of soil moisture monitoring using the Hornet.