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AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY STARTS WITH IRRIGATION

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Irrigation is an ancient technique used by civilizations across the globe. Of course, with Québec being a young nation, irrigation is a relatively recent phenomenon for us, but is essential to modern agriculture! Here are the techniques used most frequently today.

 

Surface irrigation consists of creating a drip system using pipes and channels and is one of the oldest irrigation methods. Rarely used here at home, this method is still in use in many countries around the world.

 

Portable irrigation is achieved by high-pressured rain guns or sprinklers and can cover several large areas at once. It serves two purposes, to irrigate and combat frost, a nice benefit despite requiring considerable human resources and water.

 

Drip irrigation is a low-pressure system that uses drip tape. Water conservation, even distribution and efficiency are the hallmarks of this method! However, it requires costly filtration stations and some countries are beginning to ban the use of annual drip tape because it is made of plastic, making it a pollutant. And a little less attractive for sustainable development...

 

Mechanical irrigation is still one of the most efficient irrigation methods today and is Harnois Irrigation’s specialty. It involves using a hose reel with a rain gun sprinkler or a low-pressure spray boom. Rain guns can cover large areas very quickly with little manpower, but do not offer great efficiency due to water evaporation and uneven distribution. Using a low-pressure spray boom is a winning solution, as it can increase efficiency to 92%*with its rotating nozzles. As with pivot and linear (self-propelled frontal spray boom) systems, water is slowly directed through small pipes, allowing water droplets to remain unbroken. The pressure of each sprinkler is equalized according to the available source pressure and each sprinkler is customizable with nozzles of varying size. The strengths of this method are its mobility and versatility. As long as water is available, the sprinkler can be shared between different sites. In Quebec, the sprinkler can cover up to 29 hectares with intensive use!

 

 

In the future, all types of irrigations - and agriculture - will find their use: such as NASA-inspired rotational crops that allow close planting and high environmental control and both interior and exterior vertical crops that provide incredible space savings. More and more, we are leveraging our ancestral knowledge alongside technological advances to increase our productivity and yield. In the end, a balanced water management system will always be important! 

Visit Harnois Irrigation to learn more.

*92% of water used is found evenly distributed at the plant’s roots.

 

 

 

 

 

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