Keep your crops healthy, pest and disease-free with properly managed irrigation
Water is fundamental to maintaining a strong and healthy crop. Water is used in photosynthesis to help generate energy in the light-dependent reaction and travels via vascular tissues, moving nutrients to all parts of the plant. A properly managed efficient irrigation system plays a vital role in preventing crop health issues such as nutrient deficiencies, pest and disease development while helping to drive yields and optimise quality.
A water management solution looks at the following:
• Ways to optimise water consumption
• Ways to optimise the water usage
With careful management of these inputs, a grower can optimise their greenhouse environment, yield and water usage, whilst preventing crop health issues.
How can proper water management prevent crop health issues?
By providing the correct quantity of water at the right time, plant physiological processes can be optimised while minimising over-irrigation. Water molecules are split during photosynthesis to donate an electron to photosystem two in a process called photolysis. Ensuring this process is efficient optimises photosynthesis, meaning the plant can produce more energy for all processes.
Water also carries nutrients through the xylem to all parts of the plant; ensuring good water management allows for proper translocation of these nutrients. With proper nutrition, a plant has a far greater capacity to withstand stress and reduces the potential of infestation from pests and disease. Water is a critical part of setting a firm foundation for any integrated pest management programme.
How can poor irrigation result in crop health issues?
Under-irrigation will lead to low energy reserves and a plant that is not able to properly translocate nutrients, and as such will be susceptible to nutrient deficiencies, pest infestation and disease establishment.
Over-irrigation can lead to nutrient leaching and will disturb the oxygen balance in the root zone, affecting the uptake of water and nutrients. The disruption in the oxygen content creates a more anaerobic environment with favours disease development, this is why we call a host of root rot diseases, "damping off diseases". This allows for the establishment of rootzone diseases which in turn will create a perfect environment for Sciarid and Scatella flies. Improper irrigation can therefore have profound effects on your crop quality and IPM programme.
Use the latest developments in irrigation management to your advantage
To get the most out of every drop of water and create a more sustainable irrigation system, growers need to recirculate as much water as they can. It is vital to be able to treat the water properly at the beginning and the end of the cycle. Eliminating harmful bacteria, fungi and pathogens in the water are crucial to the process and with the use of water recirculation systems a grower can safely and reliably optimise their water usage.
Fargro partner with the industry leader in water management solutions, Ridder. We believe in continuous support and as such work with growers to ensure that over time growers continue to get value from their investments in state-of-the-art technology.