Tag Archives: drip irrigation system

Drip Irrigation Best Practices: Optimize Your Irrigation in 5 Easy Steps

July is Smart Irrigation Month, and to help promote drip irrigation best practices in ag and farming, we put together this small list of ways you can optimize your irrigation system.

Don’t make the mistake of wasting irrigation water. Do your homework and learn about crop water requirement, the maximum precipitation rates of soils, soil water holding capacities, irrigation system application rates and irrigation system uniformities. Continue reading

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Dramatic Benefits of Drip Irrigation System for Idaho Grower

For one Idaho Grower, the ultimate in water use efficiency on his farm boils down to two words: drip irrigation.

McKellip, who lives and works in the Treasure Valley north of Nampa, Idaho, installed his first drip irrigation — a Toro system — on one of RMF Farms’ fields in 2011. He installed a second system the following year; then, in 2013, a third. That 2013 field was seeded into sugarbeets. Prior to those drip systems, all his fields were grown under furrow irrigation.

A drip-irrigated field of mint in 2012 yielded 133 pounds of mint per acre, compared to a nearby furrow-irrigated mint field that came off at 94 pounds. The bottom line was $585 more income per acre, along with significant savings in water and fertilizer use, combined with less labor, fuel, equipment usage and insecticide inputs. Continue reading

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Farmer Solves Water Woes with Subsurface Drip Irrigation

When Jim Bahrenburg looks across the land he’s worked in the Monument and Kimberly areas, he sees buried treasure.

That treasure isn’t gold, but water.

Drawn from the North Fork John Day River, this water flows through small underground tubes to gradually irrigate blocks of land for crops. Starting on the North Fork Ranch in the Kimberly area, Bahrenburg said he first planted rye to choke out the thistles on what was just a neglected pasture, and then continued the transformation by planting row crops.

Today the land produces corn, onions, beets, peppers, squash and dill. Continue reading

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WATER EFFICIENCY EQUATION: Reducing Use Per Unit Gaining Traction

With California now firmly entrenched in its fourth drought year in a row, the irrigation industry is rightly focused on water efficiency.

Paul McFadden, who is senior sales manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation, El Cajon, CA, said while the focus is clear, that doesn’t always mean using less water. “It’s an equation: units of input vs. units of output.” Continue reading

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How Drip Irrigation Best Practices and Management Improves Irrigation Efficiency for Florida Vegetable Growers

plasticulture on strawberriesVegetable 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

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Subsurface Drip Irrigation Isn’t Rocket Science – But It Requires Management

subsurface drip irrigationWith drought gripping much of the Great Plains and western states, and with groundwater reserves declining and water regulations increasing, growers and their CCAs are finding ways to get more crop per drop with precision irrigation.

Starting in 1993, CCA Bill Cox, agricultural consultant at CoxCo Ag Services in Las Cruces, NM, has helped his clients convert thousands of acres of center-pivot irrigation to the more water-efficient subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) systems, in which buried drip lines below the soil surface deliver water and nutrients directly to the plant’s root zone with minimal losses to surface evaporation or deep percolation.

With SDI, Cox’s growers are able to sharply reduce waste compared with other irrigation systems like furrow and center-pivot irrigation. That enables his growers to put more water to use for crop production, he says. But don’t confuse water use efficiency with water conservation, Cox stresses. The goal isn’t necessarily to use less water, but to get more production with the water that you have. Continue reading

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Now Introducing, AquaFlow 4.0 – Drip Irrigation Design Program

AquaFlow4.0We are excited to announce the latest upgrade to our popular AquaFlow drip irrigation design software, AquaFlow 4.0!

To improve user access and convenience, AquaFlow 4.0 can now be used online. The new program format includes expandable panels that automatically adjust to multiple screen and font sizes, and allow instant visibility of design decision results by scrolling. Plus, we added many features that make the program more informative and powerful than ever before. Continue reading

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How to Adopt Subsurface Drip Irrigation & Optimize Mint Production

Toro has announced two easy-to-use “how-to” guides on subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) and mint production. The SDI guide helps producers adopt systems for field crops such as corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane, alfalfa and mint. The mint guide profiles Idaho mint producer and President of the Mint Association, Bob McKellip, and reveals the success he achieved by using SDI through two harvests*. Both brochures are available in English and Spanish in our drip irrigation literature archive.

Click here to download the SDI guide (for Spanish, click here).

Click here to download the Mint guide (for Spanish, click here). Continue reading

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