Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in Oman celebrated the National Day on the 18th November 2013. Soil – Water – Plant Continuum was figured at SQU celebration in collaboration with ICT International and Decagon Devices in which Prof Doug Cobos, the Director of R&D at Decagon; Matt Galloway, the International Manager at Decagon, and Dr Ghazi Abu Rumman of ICT International MENA office conducted a technical workshop for scientists, researchers and postgraduate students in Oman.
Over forty participants from SQU and other Omani institutions attended the lectures and practicum training sessions on the use of instrumentations to quantify soil moisture, soil water potential, soil thermal properties, soil salinity, plant responses such as stomatal conductance, and also weather stations that measures evapotranspiration.
The workshop was conducted as a result of the long term collaboration between ICT International and the Department of Soils, Water, and Agricultural Engineering at the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences in SQU to study the water balance as it is a key component for efficient irrigation scheduling and, thus, water management. Moreover, correlating soil-water status with crop-physiological response is considered the most appropriate approach to alleviate crop-water stress and improve water-use efficiency. This kind of irrigation practices is known as regulated deficit irrigation (irrigation below crop full use) and is practised worldwide to obtain optimum yield and enhance fruit quality.
The one-day workshop introduced state-of-art instruments that aid to achieve the objectives set by deficit-irrigation practices. The telemetry and remote data acquisition options were also introduced. Participants have had the opportunity to practise the precise yet accurate measurement for soil and plant responses to various moisture contents.
The Dean of the Faculty and Head of Department thanks both ICT International and Decagon Devices for their contribution and also awarded the participants certificates for participation.