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Enabling better global research outcomes in soil, plant & environmental monitoring.


MPKit Soil Moisture Instant Reading Kit

For portable and convenient measurement of volumetric soil moisture content in sports fields, irrigation monitoring, mine sites, and landfills.

The MPKit is a reliable and convenient portable soil moisture sensor. The MPKit does not need calibration and is not affected by temperature. The sensor needles are stainless steel and are embedded in a reinforced body.
The MPKit has been reliably used in the softest soils to the hardest, most stony soils. The MPKit is used with the KD2Pro or the MTN02 when measuring soil thermal properties.

MPKit Soil Moisture Instant Reading Kit Features

  • Volumetric Soil Water Content Sampling
  • Highly Accurate
  • Robust
  • Portable
  • Rapid Measurement


MP306 or MP406 Probe
Measurement Range: 0–100 VSW% (Volumetric Soil Water %)
Accuracy: 1 VSW% after calibration to a specific soil type, or 5 VSW% using the supplied generic soil calibration
Response Time: Less than 0.5 seconds
Stabilization Time: 3 seconds approximately from power-up
Environment: Environmentally sealed, can be permanently buried in the soil.
Total length: 215 mm
Needle length: 60 mm
Needle diameter: 4 mm
Needle separation: 14 mm
Needles: Stainless Steel
Exterior: ABS Plastic
Cable: 4.5 m Standard
MPM160 Meter
Analogue input signal range: 0–1200 mV
Resolution: 0.1 VSW%
Display: 1 line 16 character LCD which displays battery status, reading number, raw mV and calibrated VSW%
Keys: Light touch, field rugged keyboard; Double sided READ key for easy right or left single-handed field use
Memory: 510 Readings
E2PROM data storage so data will not be lost if battery is replaced
Power Management: Power Supply – internal common 9V Battery
Reading State <= 28 mA (3 secs)
Waiting State <= 5 mA (40 secs)
Sleeping State <= 1.8 µA
Download Cable: Industry standard RS232 communication 9 pin female connector with supplied download cable
Serial to USB Cable
Software: ICT MPM Software, includes graphical interface, graphing capabilities
Optional Auger Set
Shell Auger: 50 mm x 1 m
Spiral Auger: 50 mm x 1 m
Extension: 40 mm x 0.6 m

The MPKit consists of the following:

MP406 or MP306 Moisture Probe. Rapidly measure soil moisture by pushing the needles of the sensor into the soil surface or the soil profile in an augered hole. The needles are welded to the body and will not break.
MPM160 is especially designed for use with MP406 Moisture Probe. It provides the power to the MP406 Moisture Probe for the reading and display of MP406 measurements. The measurements are displayed directly in both raw mV and calibrated Volumetric Soil Water Content (VSW%).
MPM160 also has:

  • Memory
  • Cable
  • Download Software

MPExt Rod consists of a pair of chrome extension rods. Each rod is 35 cm long enabling measurement of soil moisture to 70 cm depth in the soil profile. One rod connects to the MP406 and the other has a “T” handle. Additional 35 cm extension rods are available upon request.
MP Case is made of high quality aluminium with strong foam cutout. The case carries the MP406, MPM160 and MPExt Rod.
MP Auger Set (optional) consists of a spiral drill bit and T handle. The auger set drills a 50 mm diameter hole enabling the MP406 to be easily pushed to the depth required for measurement.

MP406 Soil Moisture Probe

OPTIONAL: The MPKit can also support the MP306 sensor for pots in glasshouses or growth cabinets
The MP406 can be used to measure the soil moisture for scientific research or irrigation management. In either situation the MP406 can:

  • Rapidly measure soil moisture by pushing the needles of the sensor into the soil surface or soil profile. (MPKit)
  • Make measurements over time by permanently burying the MP406 and connecting it to a data logger. (MP406)
  • Control irrigation by permanently burying the MP406 and connecting it into an irrigation controller with industry standard 4-20 mA interface. (MP406C)

The MP406 Moisture Probe can also be used to measure the moisture content in many materials such as soil, food and materials used in roadway and building construction.
The MPKit is a very suitable substitute for the Neutron Probe for irrigation scheduling

Irrigation Scheduling

A series of holes are augered to the top (20 cm), middle (40 cm) and bottom (60 cm) of the root zone. The augered holes have a 50 mm PVC tube inserted. This enables routine measurement of soil moisture at the same location and depth for irrigation scheduling.
The MPKit, when used in this manner has the same application as the Neutron Probe.

Theory of Operation

The MP406 has a high frequency moisture detector, which uses the standing wave principle to indicate the ratio of two or more substances forming a body of material, each substance having a different dielectric constant (Ka).
The moisture measurement of the material is based upon the fact that in a water:soil:air matrix, the dielectric constant is dominated by the amount of water present. Then the soil water content can be measured exactly because changes in water content of the soil result in changes in the dielectric constant of the soil.

Sedghi, M., et al. “Phytohormonal regulation of antioxidant systems in petals of drought stressed pot marigold (Calendula officinalis L.).Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology 14.4 (2012): 869-878.

Zhang, Wei, et al. “Methane uptake responses to nitrogen deposition in three tropical forests in southern China.Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012) 113.D11 (2008).