Grower sees drip irrigation benefits

Mike and Brian Naumann are third generation farmers who grow 800 acres of mixed vegetables using drip irrigation in Ventura County, Calif., including celery and beans.

“We haven’t used flood or sprinklers for years, and given the current pressures regarding food safety, we don’t feel we could even farm if it weren’t for drip.” This and other comments are shared in Toro’s newest Grower Solutions brochure which is posted on Toro’s new educational Web site, “Toro’s Grower Solutions brochures help the farming community share important information about drip irrigation,” says Claude Corcos, senior marketing manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation. “We know from countless conversations with our customers that drip technology is helping them become better, more profitable farmers. The brochures are an effort to share that valuable information.”

The Naumann’s begin irrigating transplants immediately after each pass of the planter by using an innovative valve to open up a few more lines of drip tape at a time. “With sprinklers, the plants would have to wait until the block is completely planted and would likely stress before receiving water.” The results from drip are reduced mortality, stronger plant growth, and lower labor costs. Mike Naumann adds, “We’re using half as much water with drip as we did with other irrigation methods, and have experienced increased yields and uniformity at the same time. Drip creates a consistent crop, and that helps a lot when it comes time to harvest.”

Naumann uses Toro’s Aqua-Traxx premium drip tape due to its durability and uniform watering pattern. Naumann finds that the precision molded emitter resists clogging while delivering great uniformity at the same time. This results in even distribution of water throughout the field and avoids puddles or runoff that harbor E-Coli. Food safety is a major challenge, and Naumann feels that drip and their harvest practices have helped safeguard them from some of the problems recently experienced by others.

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