Efficient Precision Irrigation Systems with Spray Stakes on Olive Trees

Date: 
Friday, October 20, 2017

Senninger’s Spray Stakes are proving beneficial for olive tree irrigation at Olivanto Orchard and Turca Farm, located in Villa de Leyva, Boyaca Department, Colombia. Growers at these two locations turned to Senninger’s Spray Stakes as a replacement for drip irrigation in an effort to increase their crop quality and yield via a shift from localized to full coverage irrigation.

At the Olivanto Orchard, the olive trees are planted 5 meters apart, with 5 meters between rows. These 7-year-old trees were three years old when they first began producing.

After switching to Spray Stakes, growers noticed water was now reaching the entire root zone of their trees, meaning a larger reservoir of moisture was now available to them. The greater wetted area around the roots increases the crop’s ability to absorb nutrients and water, resulting in higher productivity and fruit quality. In addition, the farmers at Olivanto Orchard noticed that olive trees are blooming before the rainy season due to the more efficient water application. The growers were also able to apply fertilizer via the Spray Stakes to spread this over a larger area, which generated greater productivity in a short amount of time.

At Turca Farm, the olive trees are planted 5 meters apart, with 5 meters between rows. These trees are six months old. Here, the Spray Stakes are able to operate without using electrical or diesel energy due to their low energy requirements and the piping system of the accessible reservoir on site. Despite the sloping field at Turca Farm, the Spray Stakes ensure a uniform distribution covers the entire area,  thanks to the innovative manner of installation, which uses gravity to help improve infiltration.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to this farm was the potential to eliminate a reliance on mulch to retain moisture. Mulch limits the water and fertilizer application in the root area. This limitation causes poor root development due to the absence of water over the full root zone.

Equally important to both Turca Farms and Olivanto Orchard though was the benefit of relying on a system that allows easy and quick maintenance, which guarantees maximum yields at a low cost.

Installed as a brand-new system or to retrofit an existing system, Senninger sprinklers require minimal investment to deliver a strong return. Sprinklers are an economical and efficient replacement for localized irrigation and the ideal system for growers who don’t have much time or funds to dedicate to their irrigation systems. Sprinklers require fewer laterals and lower filtration requirements. Plus, they can even be installed onto existing drip systems after some minor design adaptations.

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