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HIAS: the new efficient hydroponic irrigation system
Hydroponics is very well known in modern agriculture for the numerous advantages it provides in intensive farming worldwide; however, up until now it was only used commercially in annual production crops (vegetables, flowers, ornamental plants, nurseries, etc.). Its use with fruit trees has not expanded due to its special characteristics and the problems that its implementation entails.
JORMAR FRUITS S.L. has developed and patented HIAS (Hydroponic Irrigation Adapted System); a new mixed hydroponic system offering the many benefits of this irrigation technique. It allows for its use with already established tree crops in an easy way, with a short adaptation period and no stress for the plantation. The plant keeps all its roots, but only the ones inside the HIAS container develop the hydric and mineral nutrition function.
The irrigation system consists in an especially-designed container with a waterproof plastic material, black in the inside and durable for years (protected against UV rays from the sun), which is placed close to the tree trunk and, by means of drip irrigation, it distributes all the water and nutrients through a fertigation system, making the tree roots go inside it through an already-prepared opening protected from sunlight.
"After several tests with prototypes and observing the performance of the system in crops, it was decided to patent the HIAS system, as there is no information about this irrigation system being used anywhere else in the world," explains Jorge Labrador, designer of the patented prototype. The patent has extended to several countries like Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and South Africa, lands with arid climates and where irrigation is a key element in fruit production. "At the moment we are processing the patent in Israel."
The main goals of this system are to significantly reduce water consumption in fruit tree irrigation and to lower fertiliser and energy costs. "Controlling fertigation we can reduce groundwater pollution from excess of nutrients, especially nitrogen," affirms Jorge. "With this system, the homogeneity and production of the fruit tree plantation would also improve, reducing the need for growth regulators."
"It is a system for efficient management of the resources used in crops and allows for improvements in production, quality and environmental conditions. Summing up, it is a new productive system model for fruit tree and multi-annual crops," he concludes.
For more information:
Jorge Labrador AgustŪn
JORMAR FRUITS, S.L.
Publication date: 1/2/2013
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