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Drip Irrigation Helps Nursery Save Water & Labor

Standing Pine Nursery is growing flowers – and its profit margin – by experimenting with an irrigation system designed for field crops. The low pressure drip irrigation system helped increase the nursery’s efficiency and sustainability by reducing labor demands and water usage.

This past summer, Geoff Denny, who is an assistant Extension professor of horticulture in Mississippi State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and a few horticulture students installed a small test of the system at the Raymond nursery. Denny modified the system especially for potted plant crops and installed it on part of this year’s mum crop. The test system is now being used on one greenhouse of poinsettias.

Nursery owner, Jody Ogletree, is pleased with the results and plans to expand the system next year. “The drip irrigation system is a gigantic labor- and time-saver,” Ogletree said. “In this business, labor is the biggest expense. While we can’t eliminate labor by using this system, we can free up our employees to do other tasks, such as pulling an order or cleaning foliage.” Continue reading

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