Drip Irrigation

Horticultural Crops


Drip Irrigation

Jan 27, 2003 | 20:13 1 Does anyone have experience with drip irrigation? Both positive and negative responses welcome. With the chance of a fourth dry year yet to come, we are looking to use our water more efficiently on our high value Hort crops. Reply With Quote
Jan 30, 2003 | 12:38 2 I have used drip irrigation on high generation seed potatoes for the past 8 years.
In my opinion, it is far superior than overhead irrigation, especially for high value crops. It is more expensive than overhead irrigation.
Some benefits unclude, less water waste through evaporation; foliage remains dry...less blight problems; and can be applied when it is hot or windy.
Of course there are shorfalls too. Let me know if you would like any further input. Reply With Quote
Feb 3, 2003 | 07:57 3 Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the plant through a system of plastic tubes with minimal water loss. Crops irrigated by drip show water savings of up to 50 percent and yield increases up to 30 percent according to some studies.
There is number of studies available on the internet, which demonstrate the positive benefits of this system. Reply With Quote
Feb 6, 2003 | 16:43 4 Drip irrigation is the better system for all the reason already offered. The initial costs are higher but the scale of production return is also higher. The saving in disease and pest management are also reduced since the top watering system was one that invited pests.

Combine the irrigation system with a solid plan of organic amendment, improvement of soil structure and employment of mulches will ease the stresses of reduced precipitation. In my garden I have also gone to the wide rows to maximize ground coverage, reduce moisture & nutrient thirsty weeds and to reduce soil compaction.

Drip systems are quite flexible. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2003 | 12:43 5 cdunbar
What spacing do you use in palnting nuclear and what spacing on emitters. Anything else that you can add such as problems with filters or type of drip tape used would be greatly appreciated.
thanks Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2003 | 17:33 6 rodbradshaw

We use 12 inch emitter spacing with 36 inches between rows. Our nuclear minitubers are planted mostly at 12 inch spacing.

We have a 155 mesh filter near the pump. There are more elaborate filtration devices available but this works well for us. Filtration is very important as if you don't want to plug the emitters.

We use 8 mil thick tape. The 6 mil works okay but we have more problems with the tape getting caught in the harvester. We have tried tape from several manufacturers and have had pretty good luck with all of them. T-tape and Roberts are the two we have used the most often.

It is important to irrigate as soon as possible after you cultivate the rows. Once the soil settles after you put the hill on, we have observed poor coverage on some rows. If you run the system before the ground settles, the path is made for the water to pass and we don't see that problem.

Can't remember the flow rate of our emitters, if you need this information or a supplier I can get for you.

Hope this helps. Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2003 | 10:50 7 cdunbar

Do you reuse the tape or is it one season only? I have seen pictures of potatoes with tape being used but did not fully appreciate the operational part.
Rod Reply With Quote
Feb 16, 2003 | 10:00 8 Rodbradshaw
We use a relatively thin-walled tape and use it only once. We find that there are too many problems with damage to the tape, plugged emitters, as well as phytosanitary issues if we try to re-use. There is a lot of labour required to try and take up the tape without damage.

We had a grower that tried to use thicker walled drip tape a few years ago but after two years gave up because of teh issues above.

In some countries where labour is very cheap, re-useing the tape is economically feasible, but not in Canada.

cd Reply With Quote
Feb 16, 2003 | 19:13 9 Thanks cdunbar
Rod Reply With Quote