AquaSpy EC Data Intrepretation
The AquaSpy soil moisture probe can detect soil moisture, temperature, and Electrical Conductivity (EC) independently at every 4-inch sensor along the length of the probe. EC data is often overlooked, but it can provide useful information such as when a leaching event occurred, and how deep leaching nutrients moved. This document below describes how AquaSpy EC data be viewed and interpreted.
How to view and interpret AquaSpy EC data
- The first step to viewing EC data is to turn on the EC check box on the “summary” tab (see screenshot below)
- This overlays the averaged EC values (yellow line) onto the averaged moisture values (black line)
- The key is to look for an event where the EC values diverge from the moisture values. In other words, identify large rain or irrigation events and look to see if the EC values are decreasing as the moisture increases. This indicates a leaching event.
- After identifying the date of a potential leaching event, click on the "EC" tab on the top of the screen.
Interpreting EC data
- EC values correlate to the presence or absence of fertilizers in the soil. This is due to the fact that most fertilizers are salts, after an applied the EC values will increase, if leached the EC values will decrease
- Once in the EC tab it is recommended to spread the data by using the “spread -/+” option on the bottom right-hand side of the graph. Then zoom in on the identified event, in the example above that is June 11th.
- In the screenshot below of the EC tab, a sharp drop in EC values in the top 5 sensors is clear (0-20 inches).
- Also, a sharp increase in EC values at the bottom sensors (36 to 48 inches) is observed.
- This means that the users fertilizers leached out of the top 20 inches during a large rain event on June 11th. The fertilizers moved down in the profile and accumulated at the bottom 36 to 48 inches.
- A user can now look at the crops rooting depth at the time of a leaching event to determine if the fertilizers have leaching below the active root zone. In this example the root depth was 12 inches and leaching went down 20 inches, meaning the active root zone is likely depleted.