A new way to measure soil moisture - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A new way to measure soil moisture

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - How much of the rain we get actually soaks deep into the ground to help crops?

There's a new gauge that helps farmers find out.

In a partnership between the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District and the University of Georgia, a dozen farmers had these gauges installed in their fields.

The gauges measure the soil temperature and moisture at depths ranging from 4 to 20 inches. Farmers can access the information in the gauges by phone or by the internet.

The goal is to make watering more efficient. And it came in handy during the dry spell that we saw in June.

"With these automated gauges we were able to save a little water by telling them when to turn the system on and when to turn it off," according to Rad Yager, the Dougherty County Agent for the University of Georgia Extension.

If the program is successful, there are plans to expand it in future years.

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