ITRC Report November 1, 1996.
Underwood Ranches, located near Oxnard, installed a buried drip system on 50 acres of peppers in 1993. The amount of the CEC loan was $50,000.
The buried drip system provided sufficient advantages in water management, energy savings, and yield increases to convince the farm to expand its drip acreage to 140 acres in June 1995, and 320 acres in Sept. 1996. The farmer was an ideal cooperator.
The primary lessons learned on this project were:
- A grower needs approximately two years of experience and technical assistance in order to feel comfortable with a buried drip system. Even after that time, the grower will continue to make many changes to both hardware and management in an effort to customize the irrigation system to his own operation and needs.
- Buried drip has enabled the grower to achieve significant improvements in yield with his peppers. This experience has also been noted by many other pepper farmers.
- Fertilizer consumption represents a major energy use for peppers.
- The Water Use Efficiency and the Energy Use Efficiency, both of which relate the yield to resource consumption, were improved significantly under this project.
- Buried drip significantly reduced water consumption compared to the previous sprinkler irrigation system.
Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering
© 1996 ITRC.
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