More and more farmers worldwide choose high-profile mechanized irrigation systems for tall-growing crops, to ensure the lush growth of citrus and other fruit trees, bananas, nut trees, olive groves, coffee, nursery plants, etc.
Pivot irrigation of trees enables the directing of the water, at the wishes of the person in charge of irrigation, either at the foliage of the trees or below the crown, on a localized basis. In this way, the area of the ground above the roots is irrigated, in order to maximize growth and development, and to minimize the spreading of weeds and the risk of diseases.
The cost of irrigation by surface area (the lower cost per hectare) entailed by the use of mechanized irrigation systems is much less than the cost of using other irrigation methods, such as traditional sprinkling, micro-sprinkling or drip irrigation.
The maximum height between the ground and the lower part of the structure of a Pivot system or rainger may be the exact height to pass cleanly over any tree crop. There are three maximum free height options: 2.8 meters, 3.8 meters and 4.6 meters.
The water requirements of the crops are always the same, regardless of the irrigation method employed. However, as the efficiency of mechanized irrigation is greater than that of other irrigation methods, total water consumption may be lower, as there is less waste.
The fertilizer may be injected directly into the main piping of the system, enabling the close monitoring of the application of the products.
With micro-sprinkler or drip-irrigation systems, it is necessary to have a costly, bothersome filtration system, while in the case of Pivot irrigation a mere strainer is necessary, as the orifices of the discharge nozzles are 2 to 10 mm in diameter.
The outlet nozzles of Pivot irrigation systems do not require a high pressure. For a 40-hectare field and a flowrate of 60 lts/sec, a pressure of two atmospheres is sufficient.
Pivot irrigation of trees
Pivot irrigation of trees enables their planting in concentric circles. The Pivot system may be installed prior to planting and may be used to make marks in the ground, leaving guidelines with the exact distance between the rows of tree crops.
In the case of square plots of land, a center Pivot system enables the irrigation of 70%-80% of the surface area. Less economical irrigation methods may be used for the corners, but even in this case, the combination presents a much lower cost.
After three years of growing with the Pivot irrigation system, I have significantly reduced work times and labor. I have also managed to reduce water and fertilizer consumption. I am happy with my equipment.
I am interested in learning to grow coffee with the Center Pivot irrigation system.
I find your experience very interesting, D. Edwards. I’d like to learn more about it. In citrus we have experience, but not in coffee.