Fin-Tape Trial #2

Fin-Tape Trial #2

F-T 700 Drip tape for sub surface drip irrigation of dairy pasture.

  • This tape is 5/8” polypropylene (8ml), flexible, high impact resistant with emitters at 200mm centres for even watering.
  • Drip rate @ 10 psi is 700mls/metre of tape/hour.
  • A drip tape designed for farmers limited to a small l/sec water take available for irrigation.
  • F-T 700 is drip tape is designed for precise water placement via 14.285 kilometres of tape per ha (700mm lateral spacing) delivering irrigation water at a rate of 1mm / hour rainfall equivalent.
  • With this design, each hectare uses 2.77 litres/sec irrigation water (10,000 litres/ha/hour).

 

Trial Purpose:

  • To measure any variables in grass growth response (measured in Kg Dry matter/ ha equivalent) to 4 different water application rates (5-4-3-2mm irrigation water available per day).

    What is the correlation of water applied to DM grown using subsurface drip irrigation?
  • To measure any DM growth difference between a perennial rye grass mix (commonly used in the New Zealand dairy pasture. See article about root mass), and a Perun Festilonium mix (an Italian rye grass/meadow fescue cross selected for its deeper rooting fibrous root mass).

    How important is root mass and root depth to successful sub-surface drip irrigation technology?
  • To identify any weaknesses in using subsurface drip irrigation Technology in pastoral grazing systems.

    What affects the life expectancy of sub-surface drip tape?

 

Trial Site:

  • A paddock situated at 316 Highfield Road, Burnham.
  • The soil type is Stony Lismore silt loam.
  • Altitude is 88 m above sea level.
  • A GPRS weather station is positioned on site.
  • 8 Sentek soil probes to monitor soil moisture movement, 2 probes for each section.
  • Mag Mac 3000 flow meter to calculate water volume applied to each section.

Fin-Tape Trial # 2 design:

A 4.7 hectare paddock approximately 400 m long and 120 m wide divided into 4 sections, each section is approximately 355 m long and 30 m wide. The house section in the SE corner reduces the tape length in section 4. (see attached plan).

 

There is a headland at each end of the paddock (this was a needed turning area for contractor) . The west end headland is watered as part of section 4, and the East end headland is watered as part of section 1.

 

The laterals for each section range from 345 m in section 4 (shorter because of the house section) to 355 m long in sections 1-3.

 

Total metres of F-T 700 drip tape for each section:

 

  • Section #1 has 18,990 m of F-T 700 tape
  • Section #2 has 14,910 m of F-T 700 tape
  • Section #3 has 15,620 m of F-T 700 tape
  • Section #4 has 15,975 m of F-T 700 tape

 

Trial Site:

Lincoln University will monitor & measure grass growth variables weekly during the 2015 late spring, summer, to early autumn and compile results of the trial.
 
We plan to display progress reports on our website, and upload data of the rainfall events, soil moisture movements and irrigation water applied correlating to dry matter production results across the 4 irrigation sections.

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