Looking to increase profitability, sugarcane farmers are always after higher yields, higher sucrose content, extended ratoon life and lower operational costs.
That's why they've been switching to drip irrigation for more than 30 years.
Sugarcane yields react strongly to temperature, solar radiation and soil conditions.
Now, you can't control temperature or radiation in an open field. But if you’ve got a way to control every drop of water and dose of nutrients going into it – and you can apply both with precise timing – you’ll be able to grow higher and more uniform yields while increasing sucrose content and extending the life of your plantation.
Sub-surface drip irrigation goes beneath the soil to deliver water and nutrients straight to the roots of each plant. So you can deliver water and nutrients directly to your crops, on demand.
In addition to increasing your annual yields, having the crop grow with perfect conditions of water and nutrients significantly extends ratoon life, giving you an average of eight to ten ratoons, and reaching in some cases, as many as fifteen with high productivity.
Plus 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, whatever your conditions.
And if you invest in digital controls for your system, you’ll be able to monitor, optimise and irrigate your cane remotely, gaining data about every aspect of the field. So wherever you are, you can ensure high, top-quality yields every season, with less labour cost, resulting in bigger profits.Read More
Why should I choose drip irrigation over other methods?
Drip is the method that brings the best return on investment compared to any other irrigation system. When working with a limited water source it is an easy decision since drip has the highest water use efficiency, and this will allow you to take your water resource further by increasing your productivity or allowing you to add more acres using the same water quantity. Unlike any other irrigation method, it also allows precision application of plant nutrients (also known as FertigationTM), that boosts yields and extends ratoon life by optimising the use of plant nutrients according to the crop development stage, and by improving overall plantation health.
Bottomline, for growers that want to make the most of every acre and every input: drip is the way to go.
Should I use surface or sub-surface drip irrigation?
Sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI) systems are the most recommended solution for large-scale cane field operations. Compared with on-surface systems, SDI has lower labour requirements and low operational complexity.
On-surface systems are best for small to medium-scale sugarcane growers. While they require a lower initial investment, they do carry a higher operational cost.
If I have a lot of rainfall, will drip still be a good investment?
Definitely. While having ample rainfall is obviously a huge advantage, rain is never timely enough to allow the crop to reach its full yield potential. This is even more evident with sandy soils that have a lower water-holding capacity. On top of that, drip is also a nutrient delivery system that allows you to fertigate and control the nutrient levels in your soil in a precise and economical way. Applying all of your fertiliser in just a few applications can be wasteful, especially under rainy conditions that provoke leaching. Splitting your nutrient application along the season guarantees that your crop gets what it needs when it needs it. This is what makes drip systems the perfect tool for increasing productivity in previously rain-fed plots.
What if I have an uneven topography or irregularly shaped cane field?
Drip irrigation fits all plot shapes and sizes, all soil types and all topographies. You can use pressure compensating dripperlines that maintain the same flow rate across different pressure levels, so every plant in the field gets exactly the same amount of water and nutrients no matter the elevation changes or distance from the water source.
Get more details on our solutions
The challenges for open-field growers are different. You’re trying to keep a delicate balance between smart risk management and fast, high-volume crop growth.
You need a solution that makes the best use of your land, time and resources, while guaranteeing consistent results in the field. A solution that’s right for your crop, soil, climate, topography, crop cycles and business model.
That’s where precision irrigation comes in.
Nutrition isn’t a matter of quantity – it’s a matter of efficiency.
Precision Fertigation™ delivers nutrients straight to the roots of each plant, in personalised combinations, with perfect timing. So you use fertiliser more efficiently, but you grow higher-quality crops, every time, even if you’re already irrigating with water.Learn More
Find the precise answer for your crop, climate, and topography.
Every season is a race to grow higher yields with fewer resources. Browse our range of innovative products and tailor-made solutions and start optimising they use of your land, water and fertiliser. For higher and better yields, every time.See The Range