At a time when cost of farming is going up, there is pressure on potato farmers to both produce more efficiently, and produce higher-quality potatoes. That’s why precision irrigation is such a big help.
Precision irrigation gives you control over your potato field by using SDI (subsurface drip irrigation), delivering water and nutrients directly to the root zone of each plant, in specific combinations. It fits into any plot, and can be applied to all topographies, field sizes and soil types. So you can maintain optimal soil moisture and nutrient levels in all conditions.
And if you add digital controls to your system, you’ll be able to monitor and optimise your potato yield remotely as it’s growing, gaining data about every aspect of your field and local climate. So wherever you are, you can ensure top-quality potato yields every season, do less of the dirty work, and make even bigger profits.
Why should I choose precision irrigation over other, cheaper methods?
Precision irrigation will always give you higher economic returns. You’ll get consistently higher and better yields using your resources efficiently. And by delivering water and nutrients directly to plant roots, you’ll ensure healthier soil for future years. It’s a secure, long-term crop profitability model that only improves over time.
Should I use surface or sub-surface drip irrigation?
Sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI) systems are most suitable for large-scale potato field operations. Compared with on-surface systems, SDIs deliver additional benefits such as lower labour requirements, protection from agro-machinery interference, and enhanced water-use efficiency.
One of the biggest advantages of SDI is that it is not wetting the canopy, resulting in significantly reduced leaf disease.
On-surface systems are best for small to medium-scale potato growers, or for use on extremely sandy soil plots. They’re also a great option for plots that are deep-tilled. But bear in mind that while they require a lower initial investment, they do carry a higher operational cost.
What if I have an uneven topography or irregularly shaped potato field?
Again, you’ll still make bigger wins by switching to precision irrigation. You can make sure of that by installing pressure-compensated (PC) dripperlines in your system, so water and nutrients are delivered to each plant with a uniform flow rate – across your entire field.