•We developed a method which uses soil water tension data and the van Genuchten model to provide irrigation scheduling recommendations.•The strength of the method is that it can use data readily available from USDA-NRCS soil surveys to construct soil water retention curves and calculate the volumetric water content and soil water tension of a soil at field capacity.•The method was validated by comparing its results to other published methods and with continuous soil water tension data with multiple wetting and drying cycles from six fields in southern Georgia, USA.•The method used about two thirds of the irrigation water and produced about the same yields as a commonly used yes/no irrigation decision tool.
Agricultural Water Management – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2016
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