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Since 1980, Sundance Farms, Inc. has successfully grown three crops of cotton and one crop of wheat using subsurface drip irrigation systems. In evaluating drip on a commercial basis we have been able to increase yields by 36% to 50% and reduce total water use by more than half.
A large part of this success can be attributed to the injection of chemicals through the drip systems. Mechanical injectors have enabled the application of N-P-K fertilizers and chelated micronutrients directly to drip systems resulting in considerable flexibility and greater application efficiency. In addition, exceptional nematode control has been achieved with fumigants and contact nematicides siphoned into the systems. Injection systems for the introduction of sulfuric acid into pressurized drip systems has also been developed. The acid treatments have in part been responsible for three times the reduction of soluble salt levels in the soil. The continuous injection of acid has also helped in the maintenance of drip tubes by eliminating salt precipitation around the emitters.
injection, drip irrigation, submerged drip, surface drip, drip tubes, cotton, wheat, furrow irrigated, plant nutrients, insecticides, fumigants, venturi injector, sulfuric acid, salt level
Assistant Manager, Sundance Farms, Inc., Coolidge, AZ