Last year, UF/IFAS researchers developed and released a mobile app for avocado growers to aid in reducing water use. Through trial and observation since then, it appears a formula has been found for optimal savings on irrigation input and related costs.
Kati Migliaccio, a UF/IFAS Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, led a study published in the journal Agricultural Water Management, where scientists tested data for average evapotranspiration for different periods of days. They also compared wet seasons versus dry seasons.
Researchers conducted this study in an avocado grove at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead. According to Migliaccio, scientists simulated drainage, water in the soil, runoff, and how much water was in the plants. They wanted to find data from an optimal number of previous days’ average evapotranspiration needed to estimate an app irrigation schedule.
The app (SmartIrrigation Avocado) indicates optimal times to irrigate, based on a five-day average of evapotranspiration. Conclusions show that the five-day schedule already on the app works best, Migliaccio said.
Those interested in downloading the app can do so for free on both iOS and Google Play platforms.