Commercial growers can benefit from drip irrigation and still work within a tight budget. Drip irrigation saves up to 50% water compared to sprinkler systems. Drip irrigation delivers water to the roots and avoids problems associated with wet leaves. Drip can eliminate problems with runoff, saturated soils and uneven coverage. Drip irrigation systems can be scaled to any size operation. In other words, the expense of drip irrigation is easily offset by the twin benefits of healthy plants and time saved.
Small-scale commercial growers can benefit from a drip irrigation system that is inexpensive, simple to install and easy to maintain. The following MarketGro 1500 system is a typical small commercial drip system. The system can be easily expanded.
What do you want to irrigate? The MarketGro 1500 System will deliver up to 1500 gallons per hour to drip irrigate row crops, nursery stock, orchards, vineyards or any other crop planted in rows. Plant spacing can be from 5" up to 10' or more. The amount of water delivered per hour per dripper can range from 1/2 gallon to 2 gallons. Drippers can also be grouped to deliver even more water per hour to large trees.
Our MarketGro 1500 drip irrigation system has enough capacity to drip irrigate 2500' of narrow rows with DL6 thinwall dripline at one time or 3000' of rows using DL4 heavywall dripline at one time. If T2 blank tubing is used in the row and 1 gallon per hour drippers are installed on 6' centres, the system can serve up to 9000' of row. The system can also be expanded to adjacent crop areas. (see Figure 3)
Water pressure of 40 to 60 psi at the water source is ideal and is the common working pressure range for many pumps and municipal water works.
Water flow must be a minimum of 11 gallons per minute (660 gallons per hour) for filter and regulator to work properly. (See Drip Irrigation for a Market Garden for smaller capacity systems)
We are relying on a disc filter so organic material in the source water should be less than 5 mg/L. Inorganic material should be less than 10 mg/L. Otherwise a more sophisticated and expensive filtration system is needed.