What is more, drip irrigation uses less water and energy and increases the effects of fertilisers thanks to fertigation. Economic analyses shows how it is the best system to grow potatoes and the one that guarantees bigger returns.
Potato crop with the Netafim irrigation system.
In the potato sector, irrigation is used to research the right balance between an increase in production, the quality, the safeguard of water resources and for the characteristics of produce, both for fresh consumption and processing.
Potatoes are very sensitive to water scarcity and yields can drop by 40 or even 60%. Drip irrigation means that water is always provided and therefore the plants can accumulate substances and therefore the produce will be of a higher standard.
Irrigation is thus essential to manage tubers. Netafim recommends DripNet AS, Python and Streamline. The distance between the emitters depends on the characteristics of the soil and the flow rates vary between 0.6 to 1 litre/hour.
DripNet AS (in the photo above) is a self-compensating dripperline that maintains the same flow rate with a pressure that can vary between 0.4 and 2.5-3 atmospheres. Python and Streamline are non-self-compensating dripperlines that work with low pressure and low flow rate so that costs and consumption can be reduced.
Adjusting growth with the support of fertigation has produced yields per hectare of over 52 tons with excellent quality standards. There is more dry matter and sugar content does not change. If we add the positive effect that this type of irrigation has on grades, we can see how it can definitely improve the produce.