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Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) alfalfa

Success stories
Projects/ Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) alfalfa
Cultura del agua - AZUD

The company

Located in Balaguer, Lleida (Spain), farmer Jaume Ros’ 40-hectare alfalfa farm is an exemplary example of the positive impact that Sub-Surface Drip Irrigation (SDI) can have on modern agriculture. Since its adoption in 2015, this system has brought numerous benefits, significantly transforming the production and efficiency of the alfalfa crop on this extensive farm.

Province: Lleida

Country: Spain

riego subterráneo en extensivos: cultivo de alfalfa

The challenge

With slopes of up to 8 metres on his land, Jaume Ros’ farm faced challenges in water management and yield per hectare. The desire to optimise the use of water and fertilisers led to the search for an irrigation solution that would maximise production and be resistant and durable over time.

On the other hand, they had to solve problems caused by wind and prevent run-off, something that was very difficult to deal with with their old sprinkler irrigation system.

In addition, having surface elements made it more difficult to sow and harvest the alfalfa, which is why they were looking for a solution that would facilitate maintenance and work on the farm.

The solution

AZUD recommended the installation of Subsurface drip irrigation system on the farm.

The AZUD PREMIER PC AS dripper, specifically designed for Subsurface Drip Irrigation Systems (RGS), emerged as the ideal solution. This pipe has self-compensating and anti-suction technology, which prevents the infiltration of particles into the dripper at the end of irrigation. Jaume Ros, after implementing this system, was able to directly compare his production with RGS against other traditional methods, such as sprinkler irrigation.

This Subsurface irrigation system has allowed the water and fertilisers to reach the roots of the crop directly, maximising absorption and avoiding evaporation losses and uniformity problems caused by the wind. In addition, as there are no surface elements, as the pipes are buried, agricultural work has been greatly facilitated.

Benefits of the solution

Since the adoption of the RGS with AZUD PREMIER PC AS, Jaume Ros has experienced:

  • Increase in Yield: With RGS, production reached 10200 kg/ha with only 4500 m3/ha of water. In contrast, with sprinkler irrigation, 8500 kg/ha were obtained using 6000 m3/ha of water.
  • Water savings: A significant reduction in water consumption was achieved compared to other traditional irrigation systems.
  • Optimisation on uneven terrain: The RGS solution effectively addressed run-off problems.
  • Ease of Operation and Maintenance: The installation has proven to be durable, with no evidence of breakage or clogging problems since its installation in 2015.

The implementation of this advanced solution has not only improved the efficiency and yield of the crop, but has proven to be a long-lasting and reliable investment, validating Jaume Ros’ decision to adopt this innovative technology. The installation carried out on this farm has the AZUD PREMIER PC AS dripper.

Crop: alfalfa

Area: 40 hectares

Installed Material:

  • Dripper flow rate: 1,6 l/h
  • Dripper spacing: 0.60 m
  • Spacing between drip lines: 0.72 m
  • Between lines Burial depth: 35 cm
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