Efficient and accurate
“We believe that drip irrigation can have a substantial impact on the local grain industry,” says Michael Esmeraldo, agronomist and sales manager for Netafim South African in the Northern Region. “It is about increasing profit margins by helping farmers save money through reduced input costs, reduced labour requirements and more. Each producer must determine whether drip irrigation can work on his farm and whether the investment will be worthwhile. If you want to use water and fertiliser as efficiently as possible, you must consider whether drip irrigation can work for you.”
Drip irrigation’s accurate application of water and fertiliser brings about not only reduced costs and resource requirements, but also potentially higher yields. “We have to understand that the conversation in the grain industry must not be focussed on higher yields alone. We must talk about ways to ensure that farms can be financially sustainable.” This is where Netafim believes drip irrigation can help the industry.
Reduced water and fertiliser costs, maintenance costs, labour costs as well as lower electricity, diesel and other input costs increases profit margins. The impact of the cost-price squeeze is counteracted, and farmers can collect higher profit, whether yields increase or not. As farmer, you have no control over climate and price related risks. By reducing input costs, you can however limit the impact of these threats.
Because grain production is extremely weather dependent, fluctuating yields is one of the major risks faced by grain farmers. By implementing drip irrigation, you can stabilise yields and remove one uncertainty from the equation.