Automation of surface irrigation by cut-off time or cut-off distance control

Mark Niblack, Charles A. Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An automated surface irrigation system is described that demonstrates control by either cut-off time or cut-off distance using off-the-shelf commercial products. The cut-off time control uses a standard commercial sprinkler controller to operate the gates. The cut-off distance system uses commercial radio transmitters and transceiver-relays commonly used to operate security systems or industrial processes. These systems were each installed in four irrigation basins in a 7-ha surface irrigation research facility. Over 15 irrigation events have been performed satisfactorily with minimal maintenance. While the immediate impetus for automation is likely to be the growing labor shortage, it is anticipated that water conservation benefits will be realized as well. Future research and development needs include logic control based upon variations in flow rate and soil intake rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-614
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Automation
  • Border strip
  • Level basin
  • Mechanization
  • Surface irrigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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