When it comes to a high-value crop like the avocado, reaching commercial production during the second year of cultivation, or increasing yield by 30%, means big profits. Precision irrigation, fertigation and modern planting practices can make it happen for you.
I know that many avocado plantations are irrigated by micro-sprinklers. Should I consider it as a viable solution over drip irrigation?
Micro-sprinklers can be excellent precision irrigation emitters in avocado plantations as they create a wetted pattern that is well correlated to the avocado's root zone. Some farmers prefer micro-sprinkler systems because not only can they tolerate poor quality water, but the visual inspection of the system is easier and the water jets can be clearly seen. Micro-sprinklers are also a good fit for rocky soils where water distribution may be disrupted by the inconsistent soil texture.
However, micro-sprinklers require 20-30% more water than drip irrigation, and potential damage, or wear-and-tear, mean higher maintenance costs. Although both methods are recognised, we have seen a global shift towards drip irrigation using two laterals of driplines per line of trees.
What are the benefits of drip irrigation in rainy areas?
In rainy areas, drip irrigation will allow you to deliver water during dry spells and offer an efficient fertigation system all year round. Precision irrigation lets you ‘spoon feed’ your avocado to prevent leaching and ensure that every drop of fertiliser is delivered directly to the root zone.
What is the expected yield for a drip irrigated avocado plantation?
While the average yield is influenced by many factors including climate, variety and the age of the plantation, typical yields of Hass avocado, for example, reach 20-30 tons per hectare on a yearly average.
Can drip irrigation systems be activated remotely?
Yes. Advanced digital tools allow you to activate and manage your irrigation and nutrition from the palm of your hand, giving you remote access by mobile, tablet or computer - wherever you are. It is possible to add other digital tools, such as soil or weather sensors, to optimise your yields and resources. Learn more about our digital farming solutions.
How does drip irrigation benefit my farm operation?
Growing avocado requires an intensive farm operation which is simplified with precision irrigation. Farm employees can work in the plantation without being dependent on irrigation or fertigation scheduling. The delivery of plant protection and fertilisers via the system itself reduces operational complexity and allow access of Agromachinery to the field at any time.
Can I use fertilisers in my drip system?
Yes! Not only can you use them, but you also have full control over how much fertiliser you use. Various trials and global best practices have shown that fertilising in small amounts throughout the growing period keeps the plant root zone continuously nutritional, ensuring the avocado reach their optimal size, quantity and quality.