A COMPARISON OF THE GRAVIMETRIC AND TDR METHODS IN TERMS OF DETERMINING THE SOIL WATER CONTENT OF THE CORN PLANT
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This study, conducted in Kahramanmaras province with a view to watering the corn plant on a timely basis so as to avoid the plant going through water stress, aims to establish the relationship between the direct (Gravimetric) and indirect - namely the Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) measurement methods and present the advantages and disadvantages of the said methods. In both methods, the results have been presented based on the calibration curves that have been found to determine the soil water content in 15, 45 and 70 cm deep soil (for 15 cm depth R-2=0.91, for 45 cm depth R-2=0.98, and for 70 cm depth R-2=0.84). As a result of the statistical analysis the relationship between the gravimetric and TDR measurement methods was found to be significant (p<0.05). According to this result, it was established that there was a strong relationship between the measurements and that the TDR equipment yielded very good results in determining the soil water content and the difference between the measurements performed by gravimetric and TDR equipment methods was found to be statistically very significant in terms of reducing labor and time (p<0.01). According to the analysis result, the TDR measurement method was found to have saved a significant amount of time and labor as compared to the gravimetric measurement method. In the end, the effectiveness of using TDR as an indirect method for minimizing water consumption in the agricultural areas and thereby yielding more crops by preventing soil salinity has been established. It was concluded that the use of TDR will contribute positively, in many respects, to the national agricultural economy and the Turkish farmer thanks to the minimization of the labor and water costs and the more productive use of the water resources.