Drip irrigation in Finland

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Drip irrigation in Finland
Merja Myllys1 and Osmo Purhonen2*
1 MTT
Agrifood Research Finland, Plant Production
Research, FI-31600 Jokioinen, Finland
2 Myllykyläntie
28, FI-20960 Turku, Finland
* corresponding and presenting author,
[email protected]
Contents
• Need for irrigation
• Irrigation methods
• Drip irrigation; latest results
1. potato crop production
2. horticultural crop production
• Future prospects
Precipitation and evaporation in Finland
Picture: Finnish Field Drainage Centre
Need for irrigation
• Boreal climatic zone
• Water deficiency from May to July
≈125 mm
• Need for irrigation depends on
storage capacity of soil
• Drainage is more important than irrigation
• Irrigation is also used to prevent frost
damages (20-40 mm/night)
Irrigation methods
• Irrigation was introduced late: in 1960’
• Sprinkler and boom irrigation are prevailing
methods
• 9% of farms have irrigation equipment
• 80 000 hectares out of 2.4 milj. hectares can
be irrigated
• Irrigation water from natural watercourses
• 2% of total run-off is utilized for municipal and
industrial purposes, minor part for irrigation
Irrigation methods
Drip irrigation
• Novel method on field
1) Drip irrigation in potato crop
production
• On-farm field experiment; one main farm (all
treatments) + four others (some treatments in
each)
• Treatments: drip irrigation, sprinkler, boom,
subsurface irrigation, no irrigation
• Measurments/observations: water and
nutrient status of the soil, yield and yield
quality of the potato crop
Drip irrigation in potato crop
production
+ All methods increased yield
+ Drip irrigation increased proportion of
marketable yield (tuber size 35-55 mm)
Drip irrigation in potato crop
production
+ Possibility to add liquid fertilizes in the irrigation
water increased the important calcium content
in the tubers
Drip irrigation in potato crop
production
+ Drip irrigation diminished leaching of nutrients
during growing season
(the red bar indicates how much nutrients are left after harvest)
2) Drip irrigation in horticultural crop
production
• Joint series of field experiments
• Crops were pickling cucumber, strawberry,
black currant and raspberry
• Production practises, work demand, and
economy were studied
• Guidelines for farmers were made
Drip irrigation in horticultural crop
production
+ Crop benefited from drip irrigation which was
started when tensiometres indicated suction
of -150 to -300 hPa.
+ Especially berry crops benefited from added
fertilizers in the irrigation water
Drip irrigation in horticultural crop
production
- Installation of drip irrigation system requires a
lot of work
- Production costs per farm increase
+ Production costs per kg of yield decreased if
the amount of yield exceeded
• 8 – 9 000 kg/ha for strawberry
• 6 - 9 000 kg/ha for black currant
• 55 000 kg/ha for pickling cucumber
Conclusions
• As water reservoirs are plenty in Finland, lack of
irrigation water is not the main reason to choose
drip irrigation instead of another method.
• Reasons are
+ the possibility for fertilization during the growing
season
+ minimized leaching of nutrients
+ efficient use of water and nutrients
+ ease of use once installed
Conclusions
• Disadvantages of drip irrigation are
- Laborious installing
- The fact that drip irrigation cannot be used for
preventing frost damages
Future prospects
• Drip irrigation will be more commonly used in
high value perennial crop production
• Due to high installation cost drip irrigation will
not be widely used for annual crop production
• Need for irrigation will increase due to climate
change
Thank you!
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