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Sensor supported irrigation control of potatoes


Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz

Federal State

Lower Saxony and Bremen


Calenberger Straße 2
30169 Hannover

Website: External link to the authority

Project Title

Sensor supported irrigation control of potatoes

Project description

The innovation project pursues an approach to determine the actual drought stress and irrigation requirements directly on the plant by measuring the crop temperature. Crops that are sufficiently supplied with water have an evapotranspiration of more than 8 mm per day on sunny summer days. Evaporation cools the crop to such an extent that the crop temperature measured at the surface is several Kelvin below the ambient temperature. If there is an insufficient supply of water, a stress situation occurs and the plant reduces transpiration, which leads to a higher crop temperature. This temperature can be up to 3 degrees Celsius above the ambient temperature. As part of the project, these temperature differences are to be recorded contactlessly and over a large area using a thermal imaging camera and used to optimise irrigation control.

Results focusing on practiceorientation

The Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI) for wheat developed by the Thünen Institute was further developed as part of the project with an extensive sensor network and optimised for use in potatoes. Following the revision, the measurement data from the 2019 trial year show that the CWSI increases with decreasing water availability and increasing drought stress and decreases after a sprinkling or precipitation event. The different water supply conditions of the plants caused by the different irrigation variants can also be clearly recognised. In the 2019 irrigation season, irrigation on the trial plots was controlled according to the CWSI; compared to the water requirement determined according to the % of plant-available soil water, only the time of the last irrigation application differed. Irrigation control in potatoes according to the CWSI is therefore possible in principle.

Key words


Main funding source

Rural development 2014-2020 for Operational Groups (in the sense of Art 56 of Reg.1305/2013)

OG contact information

Ostfalia Hochschule für angewnadte Wissenschaften
Herbert-Meyer-Str. 7
29556 Suderburg

Phone: 0582/698861230

Email: k.roettcher@ostfalia.de

Type of OG partners

  • Farmer
  • Advisor
  • Researcher

Begin of project


Project status


Total budget applied for in EUR


Further information

Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Projektseite und im Praxisblatt.

Link 1

SEBEK Website

Link 2

project video

Link 3

Practice Sheet SEBEK



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