For Timely Irrigation… Tensiometers

Cooperative Extension South Dakota State University

This item was digitized with the support from Project CERES, a collaboration between USAIN, AgNIC, and the Center for Research Libraries.


The tensiometer is a relatively inexpensive instrument capable of measuring the force or suction which a plant root must overcome to extract moisture from the soil. It is a sensitive “mechanical root” that indicates, without prior calibration, the availability of water in the root zone. It does not measure the quantity of water directly.