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Playing the FullStop game is about learning in practice, or learning by doing.

When starting out we recommend you continue to irrigate according to your normal practice while you get a 'feel' for how the detectors are responding. In other words your experience is important: we build upon what you already know.

Guidelines for playing the game:

  1. Before you start you must work out what you are currently trying to do. How deep do you want the water to penetrate and why? What determines the irrigation interval?
  2. Based on the above, choose the depth to place a shallow and deep detector. For help try the Wetting Front Depth "Calculators" for sprinkler and drip irrigation on the next page.
  3. Record how the shallow and deep detectors respond after irrigation. The table below gives you the basic message.

Shallow FullStop

Deep FullStop

What it means

What you should do

Indicator down Indicator down

Not enough water for established crops.

Satisfactory for young crops or after fertigation when it is important to eliminate leaching. Apply more water to established crops at each irrigation or shorten the interval between two irrigations.

Indicator down Indicator down

Wetting front has penetrated into the lower part of the root zone.

Much of the time this is the desired result. However during hot weather or when the crop is at a sensitive growth stage irrigation should be increased. The deep detector should respond from time to time, showing that the entire root zone is wet.

Indicator down Indicator down

The wetting front has moved toward the bottom or below the root zone.

Both detectors should respond when irrigating to satisfy high demand for water. However if this happens on a regular basis, particularly in the case of sprinkler irrigation, over-watering is likely. Reduce irrigation amounts or increase the time interval between irrigations.

Indicator down Indicator down

Soil or irrigation are not uniform or the soil surface is uneven.

Ensure the soil is level over the detectors and water is not running towards or away from the installation site. Check uniformity of irrigation or location of drippers.

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Calculator For Sprinklers