Resources for Pasture

Intro text

Avoid Over-Watering

Do not let the soil moisture to get above the soil’s Field Capacity. Over watering wastes water, energy and soluble nutrients – all of which you are paying for.


Optimise Pasture Production

Pasture production can be improved by balancing soil temperatures and irrigation application. Especially on heavier soils over-watering can lead to pugging and anaerobic conditions when the soil is saturated which causes root tip die back and loss of production.

Assist with difficult Irrigation Management Decisions

Often in dry seasons irrigation systems (or water supply) cannot keep up with demand and managers have to make decisions to maximise production with the water they have available.  For example if a low producing pasture is due for replacement it may be best to let this paddock dry off and focus the irrigation on higher producing paddocks. Without accurate soil moisture data is almost impossible to determine the current situation and what the best course of action may be. For example, using Aquaflex soil moisture data you may decide to reduce your rotation from 11 days to 9 by removing the paddock earmarked for renewal (as it is already producing poorly in the autumn) thus allowing proper irrigation of the remaining area with no loss of production. Environmental Stewardship. Instigating a soil moisture monitoring system will help you prove your environmental management systems are robust. Aquaflex is a vital part of any Farm Environmental Plan.


Pasture installation


  • Ideally one Aquaflex site per irrigator and/or one site per soil type is recommended.
  • A sensor sloping through the profile from about 50mm below the surface down to the bottom of the topsoil layer.This sensor then provides a very good characterisation of the water contents in the main root zone of the pasture.
  • A second sensor is often installed horizontally at around 500mm depth to act as a check sensor.
    This is especially important on light soils or longer rotation irrigation systems that apply large volumes of water infrequently.This sensor lets you identify over-watering as drainage of water past the root zone as well as giving guidance to the level of stress the pasture is under.

Installation steps:

  1. Dig a trench to the nominated depth. Care should be taken to remove the soil carefully when digging the trench.
    Placement of the soil on a sheet of polyethylene, or similar, assists in retaining the soil in a position to enable
    you to return the soil back to where it came from
  2. Place the sensor in the trench and place soil around the sensor to ensure good contact between the soil and the sensor.
    Remember: The tape is stood vertically within the trench, to avoid the pooling of water on it.
  3. Attempt to tamp the soil back layer by layer to replace the soil pretty much as it was.
    Please replace any stones and other features of the soil to enable readings to be typical of the surrounding soil.