Crop Protection

Rivulis Partners With Agri-tech Farm Veracruz Almonds in a Pioneering Trial

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11 May 2024, USA: The $10 billion almond industry is projected to grow by 5% in the next five years. Farmers must harness this opportunity through smart farming and ongoing innovation in irrigation.

The D5000 CX is just one of Rivulis’ latest revolutions in micro-irrigation that supports this. Designed to deter root intrusion, copper oxide is blended into each drip emitter.

May 2024: Rivulis has launched a trial with frontrunning Agri-tech farming operation Veracruz Almonds in Portugal using the Rivulis D5000 CX to evidence how subsurface irrigation (SDI) in orchard crops can create profitability and cost savings for farmers.

The D5000 CX SDI dripline is a significant technology advancement that sets a new standard in performance and reliability. It is engineered to deter root intrusion into drip line emitters, improve the longevity of the irrigation system; and create labor and time efficiencies.

The 2023 global almond crop was estimated at 1.4 billion metric tonnes (kernel), and it is set to grow 5% over the next 5 years, a trend being driven by the adoption of plant-based diets and alternative options to allergies like lactose intolerance in dairy products.

Key growing regions include the USA, Australia, Europe (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Turkey), and North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia). As farmers face changing complexity in the macro environment, margin pressures, and rising input costs, the need to farm smart remains paramount.

“The benefits of sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI) are well known. From more efficient water and fertilizer usage to the practical benefits of not having irrigation equipment on the surface that can interfere with almond sweepers during harvest. Almonds are notorious for having aggressive root systems that can damage SDI drippers via root intrusion. We look forward to this new installation of D5000 CX with copper oxide, which offers the benefits of SDI while helping mitigate against root intrusion,” says Nuno Sanchez, Rivulis Key Account Manager (Portugal).

Veracruz Almonds is the premier smart farming almond business. Its mission is to grow the best Mediterranean almonds in Portugal using the latest smart farming methods with a focus on sustainability to produce high-quality crops. Including the very latest in irrigation, AI, and blockchain; Veracruz is the first almond business with oversight of farm-to-fork traceability using this technology.

Like irrigation systems, almond trees have a long-life span (of around 25 years), with a lively root system and deep tap roots. Subsurface irrigation is known for saving water, time, and efficiency on farms (like for example during harvest), but one of the challenges has always been how to deal with potential root intrusion. Tree roots naturally err toward the dripline in search of water and can block underground irrigation emitters, leading to poor application uniformity and patchy tree growth.

The team at Rivulis has taken on this challenge by engineering a long-term, non-leaching solution and incorporating it into the drip line. Copper oxide is recognized for its capacity to deter root intrusion; it is blended into the resin of each D5000CX dripper,” continues Sanchez.

The pressure compensating D5000 PC range has unique, multiple inlet filters which reduce the possibility of clogging, an extra wide labyrinth area that also helps to reduce clogging, and a distinctive full-size outlet pool which reduces the chance of soil particles being sucked back into the dripper. The anti-siphon (AS) diaphragm technology provides extra protection, to prevent suck-back when there is negative pressure in the hose.

Manufactured with meticulous attention to detail, every emitter goes through a multi-stage automated testing process to ensure correct assembly. A photo of every inserted emitter is taken (up to 7 per second) to ensure correct alignment in the drip line during production and meets several tests before dispatch.

Also Read: Crystal Crop Protection Limited Launches Scholarship Program for Female Students in Agriculture Studies

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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