Friday, February 27, 2009

Drip irrigation does increase yields

I'm working hard to finish my 2nd edition of Drip Irrigation, For Every Landscape & All Climates. (Thus the lack of entries on this blog. Spring is springing, yet water supplies are down 40-50%. Thus the need for drip irrigation.) I stumbled across some very exciting data that shows the reduced application of water via drip irrigation can actually lead to higher yields compared to furrow irrigation.

A study in Sri Lanka in 2002, found that with chilies, water use was down 34–50%, while production was up 33–48%. The researchers attributed this to irrigation that kept the soil moist, not too dry.

A study in New Mexico found amazing differences in yields compared to [respectively] furrow and drip irrigation: 18 pounds versus 30 pounds with cucumbers, 69 to 156 pounds growing Swiss chard, and 64 versus 166 pounds with green beans—to quote a bit of the study. [It is interesting to note that broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots didn’t have any greater yields in the drip irrigation plots. Yet, a study at Oregon State University found a 20% increase in carrots compared to plots with sprinklers.]

From drips to bounty.

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