When you’re growing maize, whether it's for human or animal consumption, every season is a race to higher yields.
But when you’ve got a more precise way to control your water and nutrients, every season is better than the last one.
Maize (or corn) reacts dramatically to the amount of water and nutrients it is exposed to. While traditional irrigation systems like flood and pivot give you some control, they’re inefficient and less uniform in the way they apply water. This becomes even more evident across different soil types, making it difficult to ensure you get uniformly better crops. These traditional irrigation methods are also not suited to uneven topography or odd shaped fields.
Precision irrigation in the form of sub-surface drip (SDI) gives you better control by delivering water and nutrients directly to the roots of each plant, in specific combinations, according to your plants’ developmental stages. 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.
Adding digital controls to your system allows you to monitor and optimise your yield as it’s growing, gaining data about every aspect of your field and local climate. So wherever you are, whether you’re growing for grain, silage, seed production or sweetcorn, you’ll ensure consistently high, top-quality yields every season. And even bigger profits.
Should I use surface or sub-surface drip irrigation?
Sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI) systems are most suitable for large-scale maize field operations. Compared with on-surface systems, SDI systems deliver additional benefits such as lower labor requirements, and operational simplicity. SDI systems favor modern tillage practices such as no-till or minimum tillage.
On-surface systems are best for small to medium-scale growers, and for use on extremely sandy soil plots. They’re also a great option for plots that are deep-tilled or for plots that are rented where growers would prefer to avoid investments in non-mobile equipment. But 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. Additionally, 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 a single application 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 an irregularly shaped 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.
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