Drip irrigation advances

Irrigation is the controlled application of water for agricultural purposes through manmade systems to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall. Crop irrigation is vital throughout Africa in order to provide enough food for its ever-growing populations. Kgaogelo Mamabolo-Letsebe investigates the latest technological developments in irrigation systems.
A WWF research on Farming facts and trends indicated that irrigation in South African farming “expands the arable area, improves yield and increases cropping frequency (sometimes enabling two or even three crops a year).”
According to the whitepaper only 1.5% of the land in the country is under irrigation, producing 30% of the country’s crops
(South African Yearbook, 2008/9).
Eurodrip SA, Inc, a multinational company which specialised in irrigation equipment,explains the benefits of drip irrigation particularly for corn farmers. Explains the company representative: “Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) is a strategic system where water is applied beneath the soil surface, directly to the root zone of the crop. This increases the crop yield and quality as it delivers water and nutrients directly to the plant roots at the precise time and in the precise quantity the plant needs.” An added value is that the SDI system easily adapts to small and odd shaped parcels,
allowing for complete irrigation coverage.
The system also allows lower evaporation losses as there is reduced soil surface wetting. Our Classic Thinwall Dripline and
Classic dripper solution includes filters,valves and other system components.
A similar product from Netafim, a smart drip and micro-irrigation solutions company, is the Streamline Thinwall Dripline. According to the company, the Streamline Thinwall Dripline is an ideal solution for seasonal row crop growers planting short to medium-sized runs.
Says the company website; “The system works well on vegetables, including in particular, strawberries, tomatoes and potatoes. There is a relationship between soil texture (clay, silt or sand) and the width and depth of soil to be
wetted for maximum growth effect.
Technically, water distributes in soil horizontally via capillary action, and vertically by gravitation. The soil type
(sandy in the Cape for instance) and the root depth of the crop will determineboth the irrigation depth and the lateral
distribution as well.” Notable features of the Streamline include:
• Can be used for both surface and subsurface installation in practically any soil type.
• Available with variable dripper spacing which allows growers to customize their systems based on application rates and wetting patterns.
• Also available in numerous wall thicknesses that can weather various environmental conditions.
Furthermore, Netafim has created a unique, patented flow path known as The TurboNet labyrinth. The labyrinth increases the flow velocity while also improving dripper performance by widening the tooth pattern, maximizing flow path velocity, allowing debris to pass easily through the dripper, virtually eliminating plugging. The system also had larger filter inlets for secondary filtration; an industry’s widest flow path for a wider cross-section allows large particles through a short flow path and injection molded drippers.
NaanDanJain Irrigation Ltd
The TifDripE, a high performance long-lasting cylindrical 16 mm dripper incorporates the unique advantages of the Cascade labyrinth. The dripper which is one of the leading products from NaanDanJain Irrigation, a producer and provider of tailor-made irrigation solutions. Says the company CEO Avner Hermoni: “This is an all-purpose dripline which is suitable for greenhouses,vegetables, flower fields, orchards and field crops usage. The compact cylindrical design with double water inlets and outlets ensures clog resistance and improved durability while the wide water passages facilitates constant flushing of sand and dirt particles, contributing to self-cleaning. The dripper has a wide range of wall thicknesses: 0.65-1.15 mm.”
Eurodrip S.A: main@eurodrip.gr; www.eurodrip.gr
NaanDanJain Irrigation Ltd: Tel +972-54-476-0000; hermoni@naandanjain.com; www.naandanjain.com
Netafim: Tel +27-21-9870477; sales@netafim.net; www.netafim.net