Horticultural Innovation Australia Limited
The process of applying irrigation water evenly across the cropping area is now a standard best management practice (BMP) aim. However, there is more to good irrigation than ‘wet is good, dry is bad’ rationale. Growers should consider the evenness of crop growth, crop health and crop turnover, and perhaps greater focus should be given to how irrigation systems are designed and how efficiently they are operating.
A well-designed overhead sprinkler system delivers water evenly across the growing area at an application rate that is compatible with the absorption rate of the growing media. With recent changes to growing media blends in Australia, renewed focus should be given to matching application rates to absorption rates. With the increasing use of Coconut Fibre (Coir) and similar products as growing media ingredients, adjustments to irrigation practice are required.
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Main photo: Catch can test.