The suitability of cloud-based irrigation technologies remains questionable due to limited information on their evaluation in the field. This study focussed on the on-field assessment of a smartphone irrigation scheduling tool—Bluleaf®
—with respect to traditional water application practices. Bluleaf®
uses weather, crop, soil, and irrigation system data to support a farmer’s decision on the timing and amounts of irrigation. The smartphone application was tested in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, on durum wheat, a strategic Mediterranean crop, during the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons. The simulation results on soil water balance were in “acceptable to very good” agreement with the measured soil moisture values, with a root mean square error (RMSE) between 15.1 and 26.6 mm and a modelling efficiency (NSE) that ranged from 0.77 to 0.92. The appropriateness of the adopted smartphone irrigation scheduling was confirmed also by leaf water potential measurements and the Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI). A water saving of more than 1000 m3
/ha (25.7%) was observed with Bluleaf®
with respect to traditional irrigation scheduling. Therefore, new technologies could bring about substantial benefits to farmers and support water saving efforts in the Mediterranean region.
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