FAQWe collected the most frequently asked questions below, enjoy!!

  • What are some strengths of Drip tape irrigation?

    • Water direct to the root zone – no diluting of effluent or fertilizer above ground.
    • Precise water application, any amount any time, the whole section watered at once; no run off if running late to shift runs.
    • Smaller amounts of nitrogen and liquid fertilizer direct to the roots; could also look at killing grass grub with insecticide via the drip system.
    • No labour for shifting irrigation – one valve for on and off.
    • No wind losses of water or strong wind affect slowing boom rotation.
    • No wind damage to irrigator (could be handy to have some drip sections for high wind days).
    • Can efficiently water odd shaped blocks and inefficient short or over lapping boom/gun irrigator paddocks.
    • Could reduce labour demand on weekends with enough drip fields to leave rotary irrigators and guns off.
    • There will be more benefits yet to be discovered.
  • Gauge of tape and life span in ground?

    Most drip tape is manufactured at 8 mil wall gauge (8 (1000 of an inch) or 0.2mm or 200 microns), and up to a heavy duty 16 mil gauge. (400 microns)
    No one knows yet how long the tape will last but there is no reason why it can’t last 50 years so long as there is no physical damage, burst pressure, or blockage by silt or algae or fertilizer residue left in tape.

    The 27kg/day DM grown with average/day water applied for January and February of 1.8 ml and 2ml respectively (see graph below) Normal target is 5 mls/day.

  • Polypropylene or polyethylene?

    Polyethylene (like low density water pipe) is constructed of short molecules; has low impact strength, can stretch easily, tends to lengthen and shrink with heat and cooling. (Above ground) Polypropylene is constructed of a long carbon and hydrogen molecule structure; this allows flexibility, won’t rot, is tough, durable, has high impact resistance, and won’t stretch.

  • What size section can be watered at once?

    1 Ha has 14,285 metres tape (@ 700ml centres) = 14.3m3 water applied /hour/ha.

    30ltr/sec × 60 × 60 = 108m3/hour ÷ 14.3m3 = 7.55 ha (2 litre/hour tape would halve the section size to be watered)

  • How big a section can I water?

    Example: You have 30ltr/sec water available, tape density per Ha @ 700ml centres, tape drip rate of 1 litre/metre/hour

     

  • What method is used for regulating drip rate?

    • Friction loss via long labyrinth system formed as part of the tape (FIN-Tape)
    • An inserted plug with a micro emitter hole.
    • Regulating flow with less emitter holes per metre. (This will impact wetting pattern)
  • Drip flow rate?

    Flow of water in litre/metre/hour determines how far water can be pushed in each lateral i.e. 200 – 300 metre lateral or more. 1 litre/hour tape will send water further than 2 litre/hour drip tape.

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