Determining triggers for irrigation

A three year field-based research project entitled INCREASING WATER USE EFFICIENCY AND IMPROVED NUTRIENT MANGEMENT FOR PROCESSING TOMATOES is underway in Leamington, Ontario, to address efficient irrigation water use to improve fruit quality, while sustaining the environment. Funding for the project was received through the Environmental Sustainability component of OMAFRA's 2008 New Directions Research Program.

Dr. C.A. Madramootoo is the Principal Investigator on the project. Project partners include Palichuk Farm, OMAFRA, Hortau, Plant Products and PFRA.

The project started in May 2008 and focuses on knowledge gaps of irrigation scheduling, soil moisture uniformity and soil nutrient leaching in processing tomatoes. The goal is to improve tomato fruit quality (soluble solids, firmness, color, pH), and increase crop yield through precise monitoring of soil moisture and water tension thresholds, thus improving water and fertilizer use efficiencies under surface drip and buried drip irrigation systems.

  • The goals of the project are as follows:
  • Ascertain the effects of soil moisture uniformity of surface drip and buried drip irrigation systems on tomato fruit yield and quality.
  • Determine irrigation thresholds using advanced precision soil monitoring instrumentation to improve irrigation scheduling.
  • Develop a water use plan to optimize water and nutrient inputs and to minimize negative environmental impacts.
  • Develop a real time, web-based, user friendly irrigation scheduling model accessible via the internet to assist growers with irrigation scheduling based on real time soil moisture, soil water tension, and agro-meteorological data.


Project Contact: Mr. Apurva Gollamudi
Brace Centre for Water Resources Management
apurva.gollamudi [at] (Click to E-mail) ; Tel: 514.398.7835