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Integrated Drip Trickle Irrigation and Fertigation System

Integrated Drip Trickle Irrigation and Fertigation System

Water-fertilizer integration technology is a new agricultural technology that combines watering and fertilizing, with characteristics of reducing fertilizer usage, water conservation, labor reduction, time and electricity saving, increased efficiency and yield. Compared to traditional flooding irrigation, it can save more than 30% of water and 30%-50% of fertilizer, reduce labor costs by about 70%, and the utilization rate of water and fertilizer can reach over 90%. When widely promoted and applied, it will obtain considerable economic and social benefits.

What is the drip trickle irrigation water and fertilizer integration technology?

Answer: Strictly speaking, it is the fertilization through the irrigation system, where crops can absorb water and nutrients simultaneously. Fertilization is usually carried out simultaneously with irrigation, using a pressurized force to inject fertilizer solution into the irrigation pipeline. The irrigation water with dissolved fertilizer is sprayed onto the crops or dripped into the root zone through the water emitters (sprinkler, micro-sprinkler and drip emitter etc). Broadly speaking, drip irrigation fertilizer system includes fertilization methods like spraying, pouring, irrigation and pipeline application after the fertilizer is dissolved.

What is the theoretical basis of drip trickle irrigation water and fertilizer integration technology?

Answer: Plants have two "mouths". The root system is the big mouth, and the leaf is the small mouth. Most of the nutrient elements are absorbed via the root system. Foliar fertilization can only play the role of supplementing. How can the fertilizer we apply to the soil reach the plant's mouth?

Usually, there are two processes:

One is called the diffusion process. After the fertilizer is dissolved, it enters the soil solution. Nutrients close to the root surface are absorbed, and the concentration decreases. Soil solution far away from the root surface has a relatively high concentration, which generates diffusion, and the nutrient moves towards the low concentration root surface before being absorbed.

The other process is called the mass flow. When exposed to sunlight, the leaf blades open their stomata and undergo transpiration (which is a plant's physiological phenomenon), resulting in water loss. The root system must continuously absorb water to supply the lost water through transpiration. Water near the root system is absorbed, and water far away flows to the root surface. Nutrient dissolved in water also arrives at the root surface with the water before being absorbed by the root system. Therefore, fertilizer must be dissolved to be absorbed; undissolved fertilizer is ineffective.

In practice, it is required that irrigation and fertilization are carried out simultaneously (or called water and fertilizer integration management), so that the applied fertilizer can be fully absorbed, and the fertilizer utilization rate can be significantly improved.

What are the commonly used methods of drip trickle irrigation water and fertilizer integration?

Answer: The premise of water and fertilizer integration is to dissolve the fertilizer first, and then apply it in various ways. Such as foliar spray, bucket pouring and irrigation, hose irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, micro-sprinkler irrigation (water belts are most popular in the south), drip trickle irrigation, trunk injection and so on. Among them, drip trickle irrigation has the best effect and least fertilizer consumption as it prolongs the dripping time. Currently, drip irrigation heads, which extend the irrigation process duration, offer one of the most advantageous and efficient delivery methods as it reduces fertilizer consumption while providing optimal results. It is increasingly becoming the preferred method for many farmers.

What are the advantages of drip trickle irrigation fertilization?

Answer: drip trickle irrigation fertilization is a precise fertilization method, which is applied only to the root zone, significantly improving the utilization rate of fertilizer. Compared to conventional fertilization, it can save more than 30%--50% of fertilizer, and saves more than 90% of fertilization labor.

This method has a fast fertilization rate, and the fertilization of a thousand acres can be completed in one day. It can accurately control the timing and quantity of fertilization, significantly increase yield and improve quality, enhancing crop resistance to adverse weather. It can be used to plant crops in marginal soil, such as sandy soils, high altitude steep slopes, and slightly saline-alkaline soils. It is also beneficial in preventing fertilizer from leaching into groundwater and polluting water bodies, realizing standardized cultivation. Due to the coordination of water and nutrition, water can be significantly saved. Combined with the water-saving effect of irrigation facilities, it can save more than 50% of water. drip trickle irrigation fertilization can reduce the spread of diseases, especially diseases transmitted by water, such as wilt.

Due to the fact that drip trickle irrigation is carried out on individual plants, water infiltrates the soil during drip trickle irrigation, making the ground relative dryness, reducing the humidity between rows of plants, so plant diseases will be significantly reduced.

Drip trickle irrigation fertilization only moistens the root layer, and there is no water and fertilizer supply between rows, so weed growth will be significantly reduced. drip trickle irrigation can also deliver pesticides, which has a good preventive effect against soil pests, nematodes, and root diseases. In winter, the temperature of the soil is low. Water can be heated and dripped to the roots, increasing the soil temperature.

It has strong application in greenhouse cultivation. For heavy clay soils, the drip trickle irrigation pipe can be buried at a certain depth of soil, and the compressor can be used to aerate the soil to solve the problem of root hypoxia. Due to the precise water and nutrient regulation of drip trickle irrigation, the root system can be led to the bottom layer of soil, avoiding damage to the root system from high summer soil surface temperatures. drip trickle irrigation fertilization can fertilize according to the fertilization requirements of crops. Fertilization can be increased when absorption is high, and decreased when absorption is low. During periods when many crops need fertilization but are inaccessable for labor, such as potato, sugar cane, and pineapple fields, drip trickle irrigation can fertilize at any time. Due to the precise regulation of water and fertilizer supply, crop growth is accelerated, and early harvest can be achieved.

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