Larry Standage has reaped all the typical benefits of converting to drip irrigation with his onions in Vale, Oregon, including increased yields, reduced runoff, and less use of water, fertilizer, and labor. But the most important benefit is that Standage builds customer loyalty as a result of a higher quality, more uniform crop.
“Each 50 pound bag of onions is superior becuse the crop is more uniform in size, shape, and color, thus the customer is more pleased. I use drip to keep my customers coming back,” says Larry.
Larry also stressed the importance of working with an authorized dealer. He worked with local dealer, Clearwater, throughout the entire process. “I was impressed with Clearwater’s ability to not only design, sell, and install a system, but to also guide me through start-up and operation. The chief designer lived here for a month to help me through the first system, and for the nine years since, the service has been exceptional.”
Choosing the right manufacturer and product is also an important decision. Not only does the product need to work, but the manufacturer’s after-market service and field support should also be considered. “Toro’s policy is to be on site within 24 hours if a problem is experienced,” says Jon Small, District Sales Manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation. “Whether it’s our fault or not.”