Efficient Precision Irrigation Systems with Spray Stakes on Olive Trees

Friday, October 20, 2017

Senninger’s Spray Stakes are proving beneficial for olive tree plantations such as 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 existing drip systems in an effort to increase their crop quality, floration and yield via a changed to localized irrigation with Spray Stakes.


Olivanto Orchard

At Olivanto Orchard, the olive trees are planted 5 meters apart, with 5 meters between rows.

Years before, the farm had implemented a drip irrigation system with a 16 mm line and four 8 l/hr drippers for each tree. To make the most of the existing irrigation equipment, and due to the poor results obtained with drip irrigation, the growers decided to implement two 15 l/hr Spray Stakes on the same 16mm polyethylene line to equalize the water volume.

After implementing the new technology, the growers noticed that the wetted area was expanded to approximately 0.32 m2 for each Spray Stake. A greater wetted area around the olive tree increases the crop's capacity to absorb nutrients due to the fact that it promotes the greater development of adventitious roots. This guarantees a better absorption of water and mineral nutrients and results in better tree development, 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.


Turca Farm

At Turca Farm, the olive trees are planted 5 meters apart, with 5 meters between rows. Here, the Spray Stakes are able to operate without using electrical or diesel energy. This farm has a water reservoir in a high elevation area, making it possible to implement this irrigation system using the difference in height.

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. The Spray Stakes guarantee an exact application of 15 l/hr, 30 l/hr or 40 l/hr even with pressure differences above 20 psi (1.38 bar).

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, and 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. Spray stakes 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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