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Don't miss the subsurface drip #irrigation demo at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, NE this year. Learn more at http://t.co/EiICZ2o3Tn
- Don't miss the subsurface drip #irrigation demo at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, NE this year. Learn more at http://t.co/EiICZ2o3Tn
How Drip Irrigation Best Practices and Management Improves Irrigation Efficiency for Florida Vegetable Growers
Vegetable growers in Florida are using plasticulture and drip irrigation best practices to improve water and nutrient management on more than 5,000 acres of production. And the effort is paying off, according to one Extension official familiar with the practice.
Bob Hochmuth, Extension agent for the University of Florida (UF), made a presentation at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO in Grand Rapids, Michigan that focused on the management of drip Irrigation. He described a process of securing adequate moisture in the root zone without over-filling.
“The increased concern over the impact of agricultural practices on water quality in Florida has resulted in the grower’s need to adopt best management practices (BMPs),” Hochmuth said. “The successful adoption of BMPs in plasticulture production of vegetables in north Florida has been greatly facilitated by Extension programs in conjunction with industry and other agency involvement.
“Growers are more likely to adopt BMPs when they can evaluate them on their own farm,” he said. “Long-term educational program efforts – including hands-on teaching workshops at a research facility combined with on-farm demonstrations – proved to be a very effective strategy in helping vegetable growers using drip irrigation and plasticulture improve water and nutrient management practices.” Continue reading
In 2014, Staples Energy’s Low-Pressure Irrigation Efficiency Program successfully saved over 3800 kW of energy and gave growers over $1.2 million in incentive savings. Now, Staples is continuing the incentives through 2015 with a new 2015 Irrigation Efficiency Program.
NEW 2015 Irrigation Efficiency Program
The Staples Irrigation Efficiency program will provide incentives to any irrigation design which can demonstrate energy/water savings. The program will offer almost unlimited possibilities for submitting savings for rebates instead of only two “deemed” projects with set values for incentives.
Projects can use a combination of energy and water savings to calculate the kWh savings for projects. This allows flexibility for incentivizing all types of real-world, energy-efficient irrigation projects. As long as a project can be calculated to show a savings, it can be submitted to the Staples program. Continue reading
Growers increasingly recognize that water and irrigation management is a key element to the success of their operation. Even if the water itself is not expensive, it warrants attention because pumping is costly — and water may carry expensive fertilizers with it. In addition, water increasingly creates management and sometimes regulatory problems when it misses the target or flows beyond the root zones of the plants. A properly watered nursery produces healthier, uniform and more profitable plant material.
So how do busy growers achieve the status of “good water managers?” Like any improvement, it will require the investment of time, money, and perhaps some changes to routine. The investment will pay back in terms of lower bills, improved receipts and the knowledge that uncontrolled water flow is not putting the nursery at risk of regulatory action. If simple irrigation controls are adopted, labor may be cut or made available for other important tasks. Continue reading
Over the years, we’ve created several helpful guides, tools, videos, and webpages to help growers, like you, learn about drip irrigation and get the most from a drip system. Click the following links to explore our archive of drip irrigation resources. Continue reading
Toro is pleased to announce that Aqua-Clear™ fiberglass sand media filters are now available in a complete automated system, for flows ranging from 50 to 400 gpm. Aqua-Clear filters are corrosion-resistant, designed for drip irrigation systems operating up to 75 psi, and are available in 18-, 24-, 30- and 36-inch systems. Some of the new features include:
- AC and DC options to automate filter backwash on any site
- Automated systems complete with all valves, controller and hydraulic connections
- English and Spanish language–detailed and illustrated operation manual
- Double-chamber backwash valve for reliable, low–head loss operation
- Solid-state controller backwashes on both time and pressure differential
- Expansion modules for simple addition of a single filter to an existing system
With new technologies and new research on everything from moisture sensors to subsurface drip irrigation to new apps for smartphones, it’s a whole new world for farming. And since nothing drives home the importance of improving irrigation efficiency like a four-year drought, farmers are looking to technology and efficient farming practices to maximize yield and minimize resources, such as water and fertilizer. Continue reading
You probably don’t expect to find much drip irrigation on a field with 6° to 8° slopes. Yet, Lon Bohn and his brother-in-law, Don Blaschko, who run B&B Partners near Gibbon, Nebraska, operate such a subsurface drip irrigation system. Although they already had 997 acres under center pivot systems, the partners still had one 52-acre, irregular-shape field that presented a challenge.
With a 39-foot variation within 300 yards of the field length and more than 30 feet of grade from side to side, furrow irrigation was obviously out of the question. Continue reading