Striking the right balance when it comes to irrigating your crops can be difficult. Savvy growers know that the timing of crop irrigation will impact crop health, soil health, and the bottom line. Irrigating in the heat of the day, for instance, not only means water can evaporate before it reaches the ground, but you might as well be watching your money evaporate, too.
Across the world, most human water usage — upwards of 70% of total water consumption — is related to agriculture. In California, agriculture accounts for 80% of water usage. Of that water, about 40% is wasted through evaporation and runoff. This is mostly due to inefficient irrigation systems and poor irrigation timing. Flood and furrow irrigation systems are the most likely factors to contribute to wasting our valuable water resources.
Sustainability is our future
Irrigating sustainably isn’t just better for your crops; it’s smart business. After all, your livelihood depends on crop health and success every season. As climate change brings more severe temperatures and drought, sustainability is increasingly critical to crop and business resilience. First, it’s important to take basic steps to reduce water usage, like irrigating only in the morning and evenings when less water evaporates or strategically turning off some nozzles on linear move or center pivot irrigation systems.
The single best thing you can do is transition to a more sustainable crop irrigation system.
If you’re looking to optimize your irrigation systems, Fruit Growers Supply (FGS) has a solution to fit your growing needs. FGS is passionate about providing growers with the top-quality business solutions they need while balancing the environment’s and our future needs. We have an “all-in” commitment to environmental sustainability, including water conservation.
Sustainability in farm crop irrigation systems
FGS offers a complete, custom irrigation design incorporating the latest irrigation technology at four irrigation centers in California. We provide growers with the best products for their farm operations that follow best practices in irrigation. Some of our sustainable irrigation system design solutions include drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, and traveling gun irrigation.
Drip irrigation is the most sustainable farm crop irrigation system regarding water usage. When growers use drip irrigation properly, crops receive 90% of applied water. So, what’s a drip irrigation system look like? At its most basic, it involves placing polyethylene tubing along the ground directly adjacent to your crops. A mainline from your water source splits into sub mains, along which water travels to the evenly-placed emitters that drip water into the soil at the root zone. Valves and pressure regulators control water pressure and flow, which you can manage automatically or manually. Manually operating a drip irrigation system can take you one step further with your water efficiency, as you can time your usage to align with rain patterns. With its precise application, drip irrigation can save up to 70% of water consumption compared to flood irrigation.
If you aren’t ready to transition to an entire drip irrigation system, using a sprinkler or traveling gun efficiently can save water, too. Automating your sprinkler system to water crops early in the morning or evening will reduce evaporation, though some evaporation and runoff will still occur. And if you have an irregularly-shaped field, a traveling gun can help you irrigate only your crops and not a broad swath where you aren’t producing crops.
Water conservation is just one aspect of sustainability with crop irrigation systems. What about your power source? FGS offers custom irrigation system design, including sustainable solar panels to power your pump control. A durable solar-powered irrigation system allows growers to expand irrigation to more remote areas without connecting to the grid. With no fuel and no bills, solar power is a sustainable option that can save you money.
Need help getting started?
Adjusting your current system or adopting a new one can be daunting. FGS has 35 years of irrigation experience and a team of over 20 experts whose sole focus is on flexible, cutting-edge farm crop irrigation systems that optimize growers’ return on investments. Our experts are irrigation engineers, efficiency experts, and seasoned agriculture pros who can work with you to optimize your systems and use your available resources in a way that makes sense for your business and the environment.
We offer free consultations for crop irrigation system design, and we’re here to help you develop the smartest, most sustainable type of irrigation system for your farm. Our system design includes a water treatment preventative maintenance program that will reduce your long-term maintenance costs. From design, to installation, to maintenance, we have you and the sustainable irrigation system you need covered.
To adjust, update, install or expand your crop irrigation system, call one of our irrigation professionals today at (559) 793-7149, or fill out the contact form, below.