Automation of a pulsed irrigation system for frost protection of strawberries

T. S. Stombaugh, P. H. Heinemann, C. T. Morrow, B. L. Goulart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of using microsprinklers for irrigation to protect strawberries from frost, and to develop an automated pulsed irrigation system for frost protection of strawberries in order to reduce the amount of water used without compromising the level of crop protection. The automated system that was developed consisted of an expert system to make control decisions and a control algorithm to control the irrigation equipment. Results from field tests show that microsprinklers can effectively protect strawberries from frost damage. In one test case when continuous sprinkling was applied, sprinkled plots showed 3% or less blossom kill from frost, while the unsprinkled control plots showed 52% blossom kill. The automated system was tested under a borderline frost situation and performed as designed. Calculations based upon the irrigation system design indicate that automation of irrigation can potentially reduce water use by 89% under mild frost conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-602
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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