Different tools are being implemented in order to improve the water management in agricultural irrigated areas of semiarid environments. Thermography has been progressively introduced as a promising technique for irrigation scheduling and the assessing of crop-water status, especially when deficit irrigation is being implemented. However, an important limitation is related to the cost of the actual cameras, this being a severe limitation to its practical usage by farmers and technicians. This work evaluates the potential and the robustness of a thermal imaging camera that is connected to smartphone (Flir One) recently developed by Flir Systems Inc. as a first step to assess the crop water status. The trial was developed in mature almond (Prunus dulcis Mill.) trees that are subjected to different irrigation treatments. Thermal information obtained by the Flir One camera was deal with the thermal information obtained with a conventional Thermal Camera (Flir SC660) with a high resolution, and subsequently, confronted with other related plant physiological parameters (leaf water potential, Ψleaf, and stomatal conductance, gs). Thermal imaging camera connected to smartphone provided useful information in estimating the crop-water status in almond trees, being a potential promising tool to accelerate the monitoring process and thereby enhance water-stress management of almond orchards.
Keywords: data acquisition; irrigation scheduling; non-water stressed baselines; thermal indexes; thermal readings.