A new practical tool for irrigation management called IMO provides an irrigator with an improved assessment of how irrigation is working under normal and extreme dry conditions.
It is used for planning, analyzing, and executing irrigation strategies.
IMO goes beyond conventional scientific irrigation scheduling to provide more detailed calculations to create a more accurate picture of how water is distributed in the field, how much is consumed by the crop, and how much percolates beyond the root zone.
This can be accomplished at and below full irrigation.
IMO calculates the complex interactions between variable soils, unevenly distributed water, dynamic weather and crop development. This makes it possible to identify when and when not to irrigate to maximize profitability or to find the best timing strategies to stretch limited supplies.
It is a class of tool that has previously only been available to irrigation researchers and agricultural engineers. Over the last few years, Irrigation for the Future (IFF), an Oregon-based irrigation technology company, has developed a commercial version of IMO.
For the 2015 growing season, IFF is working exclusively with almonds in California. The tool can be used in most crops.