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Optimizing irrigation use

first_imgSoil moisture sensors are an efficient tool farmers use to optimize their irrigation water use.George Vellidis, a professor on the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Tifton campus, noted in a 2012 research study that water is often what limits a crop’s production. He added that as competition intensifies for this natural resource, there’s an increasing likelihood that water availability for agricultural use in the future will decrease.In hopes of providing farmers a better way to irrigate, Vellidis is researching soil moisture sensors and their impact on variable rate irrigation systems. The goal is to help farmers maximize the efficiency of their irrigation systems; thereby increasing the potential yields for various crops.“Increasing competition for water resources will likely result in less water available for agricultural production,” said Vellidis. “Precision irrigation promises to optimize the use of this precious resource.”While soil moisture sensors are not uncommon, what is unique to Vellidis’ research is the use of web-based user systems that are at farmers’ fingertips. With Vellidis’ work, sensors measure soil moisture, transmit that data back to an Internet site where the farmer analyzes the information and takes appropriate actions after determining what’s transpiring in his field. The farmer can do this from his home computer or smart phone. “Our next step is to take that information, produce specific recommendations for the producers and tell them their soil condition is such; if you irrigate, add half an inch to this part of the field, add an inch to this part of the field, add three-fourths of an inch to this part of the field so you bring all the soils up to field capacity without adding extra water so it drains out,” Vellidis said.Two different kinds of sensors are typically used for measuring soil moisture. The most commonly used type is called capacitance, which indicates how much water is available to use. However, since the volume of available water in the soil is related to the soil’s texture, every time a sensor is installed, it must be calibrated which can be a time-consuming process. Vellidis prefers a tensiometric soil moisture sensor. This type of sensor determines the soil moisture that’s available and measures how much energy a plant must exert to extract moisture from the soil. It can be installed in any soil type without calibration. For the sensors to be effective agricultural tools, they have to be strategically placed throughout a field to provide accurate readings of the soil in each farmer’s field. Before installing the sensors, Vellidis divides a field into zones. For example, a 100-acre field would be divided into 3 to 5 zones with two sensors employed for each zone. He prefers to use more than one sensor in case one goes down due to a lightning strike or is otherwise damaged. The sensors in the different zones provide accurate information about the soil moisture in those zones. This allows farmers to apply water more accurately and efficiently. “If you have the soil moisture sensors in the soil, you know exactly what your condition is. If you know something about the life cycle of your plant, you know when it’s critical for the plant to have water and when the plant can sustain some stress,” Vellidis said. For example, the critical soil moisture period for cotton is when the plant is flowering and the bolls are filling, he said. Before then, Vellidis added, farmers can wait until the soil profile is fairly dry before they irrigate, if water is limited or if they want to save energy costs.Vellidis has two goals with this project, one short term and the other long term.“I think the proper strategy for irrigation scheduling will be for consultants to get this information, be able to interpret the results and provide irrigation recommendations to the farmers in the short term,” he said.“In the long term, when we have the process better refined and the data can go straight into the pivot controller and the pivot controller can start irrigating, we can really eliminate a lot of this — I need to look at the data, scratch my head and figure out what’s going on. We’ll be able to automate that process.”last_img read more

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Dead body discovered in Newtown

first_img Share Share LocalNews Dead body discovered in Newtown by: – April 17, 2011 Share Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! Body being taken from the scene by Lyndhurst Funeral home with assistance from Police OfficersThe Police Department was alerted this morning of a dead body lying at the Newtown bus stop opposite the Newtown savannah.On arrival at the scene, Dominica Vibes News found the area marked off with several police officers conducting their investigations.Lyndhurst funeral home was also at the scene and transported the body to the Princess Margaret Hospital.We were informed by onlookers that it is the body of a gentleman in his late 50’s popularly known as “wassinpac”, who normally sleeps on the bench in the Newtown bus stop where he was found.Inspector Claude Weekes informed Dominica Vibes News that the Police and other authorities are investigating the matter.We will have an update on this matter as more information becomes available.Dominica Vibes News 290 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

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GPL preview:Title chase Vs Relegation battles

first_imgAs the race for Glo Premier League title reaches a thrilling climax, every point earned or dropped beginning Wednesday will prove crucial come the end of the campaign on June 23.With three matches to go, the title has not been decided while the relegation race is incomplete with only one spot confirmed – Real Tamale United, who could set a new record by going down without a win all season and with the lowest number of points in the top-flight.At this stage of the season, it is time for teams down at the base of the table to save their club from being doomed to play in the lower division.Just three points separates the top and the third-placed team in a season that has brought thrills and drama.Leaders Chelsea will clash with relegation candidate, Arsenal in a Berekum derby which has been moved to Dormaa as the Gunners serve an indefinite home ban from playing at the Golden City Park.Chelsea have a two-point lead and will need to maintain a winning run from now till the end of the season to secure them a second premiership title but Arsenal, will have to also win to boost their faint chances of escaping the drop. Defending champions, Asante Kotoko will be attempting to pile on the pressure from second-place as they must win in Kpando against Heart of Lions to keep themselves in the title race.Medeama, who had enjoyed the summit for a long time find themselves in third place ahead of their meeting with Wa All Stars in Tarkwa. And with just three points separating them from the top, they still have an equal chance of winning the league, which will be their first silverware.Ebusua Dwarfs will be eager to maintain their top-four chase when they visit the Accra Sports Stadium to face in-form Hearts of Oak.At the Len Clay Stadium, AshantiGold will welcome Liberty Professionals while Aduana take on bottom side, Real Tamale United, who are already heading for the lower division next season at the Coronation Park in Sunyani.In Kumasi, King Faisal will take on league debutants, Amidaus Professionals who have confirmed their place for next season in the Premier League. Another relegation candidate, Tema Youth have everything to play for from now till the end of the campaign to avoid the drop. The Tema side will host New Edubiase at the Tema Stadium to wrap up a busy midweek round of matches.last_img read more

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Ghana FA recieves Black Stars’ sponsorship cash from Ricemaster

first_imgThe Ghana FA has received Ghc 100,000  as sponsorship money from Ricemaster, the official meal sponsor of the Black Stars,  ahead of the Cairo Clash on November 19.The amount is for the 2013/14 season and is in fulfillment of their responsibility as the official meal sponsor of the Black Stars.The money comes at a time when the Black Stars is set to begin preparation ahead of the second-leg of the 2014 World Cup playoff clash against Egypt. The team is set to leave for the Turkish capital, Istanbul from 11th November, to begin preparations before leaving for Cairo.“We are really grateful to Ricemasters for their support for the Black Stars over the years. This money comes at a time that we are preparing for the Cairo Clash,” Ghana FA boss Kwasi Nyantakyi said at a brief presentation ceremony on Tuesday.The Black Stars will arrive in Cairo on 18 November for the match to be played at the Air Defence Stadium.The match against the Pharaohs will be played on 19 November. The Black Stars won the first-leg by 6-1 in Kumasi on 15 October. The aggregate winner qualifies for next year’s finals in Brazil.last_img read more