Chuck Herrin manages Worth Farms in California’s Westlands Water District. Founded by his grandfather, a custom harvester turned farmer, Worth Farms today grows 4,500 acres of drip irrigated crops including 3,500 acres of processing tomatoes.
“Our best-ever yield on conventional sprinkler/gravity acreage was 64 tons/acre in 2004. five years later, we are achieving 50-100% increases in yields with drip, and an overall average of 65 tons/acre operation wide. On top of that, water, labor, fertilizer, and herbicide savings are substantial. We used to apply 36 inches of water per acre to meet a crop ET of about 18 inches. Now, we only apply 24 inches of water, a 33% savings. At the same time, we have cut labor use by half, and fertilizer use by a third. This is significant.”Continue reading