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Mike and Brian Naumann are young farmers with a daunting legacy to fulfill: the family has been growing vegetables in Ventura County since 1898. But the Naumann brothers are not ones to buckle under pressure, and have adopted a “can-do” attitude to successfully farm 800 acres of mixed vegetables in a volatile, ever changing market. The secret to their success? Continue reading
Craig Andrus is no stranger to sprinklers, but has been using drip on his 400 acres of romaine lettuce, Southeast of Salinas for over four years, now. He used to have a linear, but when it came time to replace it, he noticed the trend towards drip and made the change.
“My yields are higher, the crop is more uniform, and the quality is better because of perfect growing conditions.” Continue reading
Drip irrigation is a mainstream technology in dozens of other crop production systems throughout the world because it allows producers to evenly spoon-feed precious water and nutrients directly to every plant’s root zone despite variable soil conditions, undulating terrain, odd field dimensions or long lengths of run. But potato producers have been slower to adopt drip since there are significant changes in bed configuration, agronomic decisions, and planting and harvesting equipment that go along with this technology.
Despite these challenges, cutting-edge producers, suppliers, and researchers are coming up with viable answers in hopes of bolstering the potato industry against the inevitable vagaries of the market, economy, costs, and resource availability, and are discovering significant benefits in adopting drip irrigation for potato production. Continue reading
Many corn growers are adopting drip irrigation because drip irrigation optimizes yields, minimizes inputs, and maximizes profits. Plus, in many cases the system pays for itself in less than two years. Continue reading
Loyd Jordan is a 3rd generation farmer who cultivates 3,500 acres southwest of Lubbock in Terry and Lynn counties, Texas. He irrigates 1,250 acres with pivots and, most recently, 300 acres with subsurface drip irrigation. A neighbor had tried drip and said good things about water savings, getting increased yields on fewer acres, and how easy it was to apply fertilizers and control insects. So in 2004, Jordan installed 40 acres. He liked it so much that he installed an additional 120 acres in 2007, and then another 140 acres in 2009. Now he prefers drip to the pivots he has used for so many years. Continue reading
Five-bale cotton yields would impress anybody. So when West Texas Cotton Farmer, William Carlton, averaged 2,575 pounds-per acre (five bales) on his 40-acre field with subsurface drip irrigation, he was pleased to say the least.
Carlton’s drip irrigation is spaced 80 inches apart and says his 1511 cotton variety “jumped out of the ground.” Continue reading
When Bob Thomas and his son Rob began farming in the Imperial Valley six years ago, they quickly recognized that there must be a better way to irrigate their alfalfa. They soon discovered that cutting-edge growers were successfully using drip irrigation instead of sprinklers or gravity irrigation. After diligent research, they installed their first 116 acres with Toro’s Aqua-Traxx® drip tape in September of 2009, and have experienced significant benefits since then. Continue reading
The benefits of drip irrigation are easy to see at Weilmunster Farms in Parma, Idaho. After adopting drip technology, the farm increased its hops yields by 400 pounds per acre, which translated into increased revenues of $800 to $1,600 per acre.
Using Fewer Resources
Beyond the increased production, Weilmunster Farms cut water use in half, reduced fertilizer use substantially, and had fewer weeds because the water was targeted to the root zone. They also eliminated sidedressing and corrugating for rill irrigation, and discovered they could irrigate prior to harvest without concern for a dry down period. They’ve even reduced theft by eliminating siphon tubes. Continue reading