To implement a basic fertirrigation system, the first step is to adapt the agricultural system that is regularly used for the irrigation of plantations, to apply the fertilizers through it too. This fertirrigation method can mean a high financial investment in the first place, but with a high ROI in a medium-term period.
Another method to get fertirrigation in an easier and economic way is considering its application by dripping or drench. In both cases, the most important thing is using fertilizers that are 100% water-soluble.
The fertirrigation equipment that is more often used is:
- Fertilization tanks: these are deposits that are connected to the water distribution net in a parallel way. In those tanks the fertilizer is added to the water by a difference between the entrance pressure and the exit pressure. This is low cost equipment but it can present problems in the uniformity of the application.
- Venturi injectors: a very simple device that doesn’t need electricity for its functioning. It is a tube connected in a parallel way with the principal piping system and it has a narrowing where a suction is produced to make the fertilizer circulates around the irrigation net. This equipment is not recommended in systems with a low pressure because it generates an important pressure loss in the piping system.
- Electrical and hydraulic injectors: as the name suggests, this devices injects the solution that is placed in a deposit that is not connected to the net, using an electric or hydraulic bomb. This equipment keeps a constant injection of fertilizers in the irrigation water.
- Proportional injectors: these injectors are controlled by electric valves. Its function is to apply the same quantity of fertilizer, even when the flow can change, keeping always the same concentration in the irrigation system. This equipment is ideal to automatize the fertirrigation.
Fertirrigation can be a key ally in agriculture, mostly when rain disappears in the exact moment that crops need the application of nutrients, because this way the stress in plants decreases and the possibility of getting a more productive harvest increases.