High Tunnels and Drip Irrigation




                                      Making a Difference in Minnesota




© 2009 Reg...
Drip Irrigation Considerations
                            with
High Tunnel Production Systems
   Jerry Wright, Retired Ex...
Reasons for Using Drip/Trickle Irrigation
           in High Tunnel Production System


 •Efficiently & Uniformly Applies ...
Irrigation System Needs!!!
• Water supply
• System performance
    –   Uniform water application
    –   Flexible & crop s...
Water Supply!!!
    3 to 10 gallons per minute per tunnel
Dependent on Drip Flow Rate
    and Tubing Layout




          ...
Estimated Daily Crop Water Use “ET”
                              Typical Annual Crop
                      0.30

        ...
Irrigation Water Applied in 2005
                                                 Average Inches per Day
                 ...
IRRIGATION WATER USE PERMIT
            Minnesota Rules
     www.dnr.state.mn.us/permits/water/index.html
IN EXCESS OF 10...
Water Quality Concerns??
• Iron–Calcium-Sand (groundwater)
• Algae – Sand – Silt (surface water)

• Water Treatment
  – Sc...
What are the soil characteristics
       in the proposed site???
• Rooting potential
     – Restrictive layer
•   Drainage...
Know Your Soil
                 Rooting Depth
                            and

            How Will Water
             Re-...
Drip Irrigation System Options!!!




      © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Drip Irrigation System
  Characteristics!!!

 •   Low pressure & small water supply
 •   High water application efficiency...
Drip Irrigation Wetted Pattern
           Design!!!




     © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Line Source Drip Tape

• Tape
  – Emitters manufactured within the tape wall
  – Common spacings: 4”, 8", 12", 16", 18", 2...
Line Source Drip Tubing


• Tubing (in-line emitter devices)
  – heavy wall thickness: 2-3 times tape
  – Variable spacing...
Drip Irrigation System
              Water application rate!!!
Table 4:     Average Application Rate from Drip Irrigation ...
Drip Irrigation System Design ??
One or Two Lateral Lines per Row




       © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Drip Tube Placement




Plants off-set down
      the row

            © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Drip Tube Placement

• Tube should be installed at same time/prior to mulch
• Single-row crops:tomatoes,cucumbers, muskmel...
Drip Installation Prior to Plastic Mulch
     Hand or Mechanical Installation




        © 2009 Regents of the University...
Drip Installation Prior to Plastic Mulch
On a smooth soil surface & slightly buried




         © 2009 Regents of the Uni...
Header Options




© 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Water S upply & Pump
                                                                  Pressure G auges
                  ...
Drip Irrigation System
Operation & Maintenance!!!
                                  • Easily damaged
                     ...
Drip Irrigation Control Assembly
      © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Water S upply & Pump
                                                                   Pressure G auges
                 ...
Drip Irrigation Control Assembly




Cost: $300–600 + water supply system
            © 2009 Regents of the University of ...
Trickle Irrigation System
    Zone - Design!!!




  © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
FERTIGATION
          Nutrient "spoon-feeding"




• Check out chemical compatibility with irrigation water
• Provide back...
CHEMIGATION - Fertigation
            Nutrient "spoon-feeding"




• Calibration to a daily or weekly feeding program
• As...
When & How Much Should I Water????




        © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Average Irrigation Applied in High Tunnel Tomatoes
                                       Gallons per Plant per inDay - To...
In-Field Soil Water Assessment




      © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Soil Water Monitoring Sensors




      © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
Sensors Installation Steps




•   Soak sensors in water 2-3 hours & air dry –
    repeat cycle 2/3 Xs
•   Place in soil p...
SOIL WATER DEFICITS
                         for
          Typical Soils & Soil Water Tensions
               Good Range f...
Soil Water Monitoring Sensors
             Installation Tips




• Soak sensors in water 2-3 hours
  & air dry – repeat cy...
Soil Water Monitoring




   Irrometer Co - http://www.irrometer.com/
Spectrum Technologies - http://www.specmeters.com
  ...
Automatic Soil Moisture Monitoring
      Save 10 to 20 minutes Each Day




                      $500-650

Hansen AM400 S...
Extension Materials
             Minnesota High Tunnel Production Manual
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticu...
*** Time for Questions ***




      © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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Drip Irrigation and High Tunnels

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Presented by University of Minnesota retired Extension Engineer, Jerry Wright at the 2009 Minnesota Statewide High Tunnel Conference in Alexandria, MN on Dec. 2-3, 2009.

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Drip Irrigation and High Tunnels

  1. 1. High Tunnels and Drip Irrigation Making a Difference in Minnesota © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  2. 2. Drip Irrigation Considerations with High Tunnel Production Systems Jerry Wright, Retired Extension Engineer University of Minnesota Extension Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering Dept West Central Research & Outreach Center - Morris, Mn High Tunnel Workshop – December 2, 2009 jwright@umn.edu or 320-589-1711 Making a Difference in Minnesota © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  3. 3. Reasons for Using Drip/Trickle Irrigation in High Tunnel Production System •Efficiently & Uniformly Applies Crop Water as Needed – to maintain optimum growing conditions – for transplant establishment – for uniform plant/produce development • by enhancing INPUT use efficiency – to protect & enhance yield and quality •Effectively Applies Some Nutrients in Water © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  4. 4. Irrigation System Needs!!! • Water supply • System performance – Uniform water application – Flexible & crop specific control – Fertigation?? – Frost protection?? – Cooling?? • System Options • Operating Labor • Cost???? • Consult Local Experts © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  5. 5. Water Supply!!! 3 to 10 gallons per minute per tunnel Dependent on Drip Flow Rate and Tubing Layout © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  6. 6. Estimated Daily Crop Water Use “ET” Typical Annual Crop 0.30 0.25 ET - Inches per day 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 9- 23 14 28 11 25 6- 20 3- 17 Ju Au Se -J -M -M -J -J -A -S l ul un un g ug p ep ay ay Annual water use = 8 to 18 inches © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  7. 7. Irrigation Water Applied in 2005 Average Inches per Day High Tunnel Tomatoes at Staples, MN 0.40 may = 5–10 inches more than outside 0.35 0.30 Inches of water per day 0.25 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  8. 8. IRRIGATION WATER USE PERMIT Minnesota Rules www.dnr.state.mn.us/permits/water/index.html IN EXCESS OF 10,000 GALLONS PER DAY(= 7 gpm) GREATER THAN ONE MILLION GALLONS / YEAR WITHDRAWAL LIMITS ON SURFACE WATER  6 ACRE-INCHES PER ACRE with STREAM FLOW MINIMUM GROUND WATER LIMITS  12-15 ACRE-INCHES PER ACRE  CANNOT CREATE ANY INTERFERENCE WITH DRINKING WELLS WELL CONSTRUCTION FEE $215 (Mn Dept Health) IRRIGATION APPLICATION FEE $150 - $300(after the fact) ANNUAL REPORT ($140 minimum fee) for 50M Gallons © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  9. 9. Water Quality Concerns?? • Iron–Calcium-Sand (groundwater) • Algae – Sand – Silt (surface water) • Water Treatment – Screen/Disc Filters, – Sand filter Tanks – Chemical treatment????? © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  10. 10. What are the soil characteristics in the proposed site??? • Rooting potential – Restrictive layer • Drainage limitations • Soil texture • Water holding capacity • Consult local experts – NRCS & Extension © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  11. 11. Know Your Soil Rooting Depth and How Will Water Re-Distribute! © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  12. 12. Drip Irrigation System Options!!! © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  13. 13. Drip Irrigation System Characteristics!!! • Low pressure & small water supply • High water application efficiency • Solid-set management – variety of emitter spacings – Irrigate crops separately • Moderate Labor – easily automated • Works well with mulches – plastic • No frost protection • Emitters’ plug easily • Tube damage © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  14. 14. Drip Irrigation Wetted Pattern Design!!! © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  15. 15. Line Source Drip Tape • Tape – Emitters manufactured within the tape wall – Common spacings: 4”, 8", 12", 16", 18", 24’’ – Flow rates (GPH) @ 8 psi: .16, .21, .33, .53 • .45GPM/100feet = 27 GPH/100ft or .67GPM = 40GPH/100ft. – Wall thickness (mil): 6, 8, 10, 15 • One to two year of usage – Maximum operating pressures: • 6 mil @ 10 psi – • 8 mil @ 12 psi • 10 mil @ 14 psi •15 mil @ 25 psi – ?? Pressure compensated drippers for more uniformity of water and fertilizer applications • Surface or sub-surface installations © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  16. 16. Line Source Drip Tubing • Tubing (in-line emitter devices) – heavy wall thickness: 2-3 times tape – Variable spacings: 9, 12, 18, 24, 48” – multi-seasonal use • 6 to 10 times more costly – pressure compensated dripper options for best uniformity of water and fertilizer applications and self-flushing: dirt and debris during operation • Surface or sub-surface installations © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  17. 17. Drip Irrigation System Water application rate!!! Table 4: Average Application Rate from Drip Irrigation Systems by Jerry Wright, Extension Engineer, University of Minnesota Email: jwright@umn.edu (April 2005) Drip Tube Flow ********** Wetted Soil Width in Inches ************* GPM GPH 8 12 16 20 24 per 100ft per 100ft Average Application Rate - Inches per Hour 0.200 12 0.29 0.19 0.14 0.12 0.10 0.250 15 0.36 0.24 0.18 0.14 0.12 0.300 18 0.43 0.29 0.22 0.17 0.14 0.350 21 0.51 0.34 0.25 0.20 0.17 0.450 27 0.65 0.43 0.32 0.26 0.22 0.670 40 0.97 0.64 0.48 0.39 0.32 0.850 51 1.23 0.82 0.61 0.49 0.41 1.700 102 2.45 1.64 1.23 0.98 0.82 Appl. Rate inches/hour = 12 in/ft * (GPH/100ft)/(7.48 gal/cuft * 100 * wetted width in feet) file: irrigation gallons per ET version 3e.xls © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  18. 18. Drip Irrigation System Design ?? One or Two Lateral Lines per Row © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  19. 19. Drip Tube Placement Plants off-set down the row © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  20. 20. Drip Tube Placement • Tube should be installed at same time/prior to mulch • Single-row crops:tomatoes,cucumbers, muskmelons – Place tube 4 to 5 inches from the center or in the center • Double-row crops: eggplant, peppers and strawberries – tube should be placed directly on the center of the bed • Placement: keep emitters up and place in a shallow groove or buried (1-2”) to aid in keeping from shifting in the bed or fasten each end of tubing to keep straight •Caution – avoid puncturing tube during planting/staking © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  21. 21. Drip Installation Prior to Plastic Mulch Hand or Mechanical Installation © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  22. 22. Drip Installation Prior to Plastic Mulch On a smooth soil surface & slightly buried © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  23. 23. Header Options © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  24. 24. Water S upply & Pump Pressure G auges Filter Control Timer Valve Filter B ackf low De vice Chemical Sub-main Air - Flushing Injector Release Valve Pressure Regulator Tee Adapter To Drip Tube Drip Tubes with Shu t of f Shut of f Valve Valves High Tunnel House 2004 Jerry Wright, University of Minnesota © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  25. 25. Drip Irrigation System Operation & Maintenance!!! • Easily damaged – Rodents, hoe, • Emitters’ easily plugged – Iron and calcium – Sand, algae – Some fertilizers © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  26. 26. Drip Irrigation Control Assembly © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  27. 27. Water S upply & Pump Pressure G auges Filter Control Timer Valve Filter B ackf low De vice Chemical Sub-main Air - Flushing Injector Release Valve Pressure Regulator Tee Adapter To Drip Tube Drip Tubes with Shu t of f Shut of f Valve Valves High Tunnel House Drip Irrigation Control Assembly 2004 Jerry Wright, University of Minnesota © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  28. 28. Drip Irrigation Control Assembly Cost: $300–600 + water supply system © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  29. 29. Trickle Irrigation System Zone - Design!!! © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  30. 30. FERTIGATION Nutrient "spoon-feeding" • Check out chemical compatibility with irrigation water • Provide backflow protection – MDA Fertigation permit? © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  31. 31. CHEMIGATION - Fertigation Nutrient "spoon-feeding" • Calibration to a daily or weekly feeding program • Assess backflow 2009 Regentsbetween waterof Minnesota?MDA Permit? © protection of the University source –
  32. 32. When & How Much Should I Water???? © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  33. 33. Average Irrigation Applied in High Tunnel Tomatoes Gallons per Plant per inDay - Tomatoes Average Irrigation Applied High Tunnel Staples 2005 field observations Gallons per Plant per Day - Staples 2005 use more water indicate cucumbers can 1.00 Plt/dy in 18" spacing Plt/dy in 24" spacing 0.90 Poly. (Plt/dy in 18" spacing) Poly. (Plt/dy in 24" spacing) 0.80 0.70 Gallons per Plant per da 0.60 0.50 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.10 0.00 3-Jul 10-Jul 17-Jul 24-Jul 31-Jul 5-Jun 12-Jun 19-Jun 26-Jun 2-Oct 9-Oct 15-May 22-May 29-May 4-Sep 11-Sep 18-Sep 25-Sep 7-Aug 14-Aug 21-Aug 28-Aug © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  34. 34. In-Field Soil Water Assessment © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  35. 35. Soil Water Monitoring Sensors © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  36. 36. Sensors Installation Steps • Soak sensors in water 2-3 hours & air dry – repeat cycle 2/3 Xs • Place in soil profile within plant row at 2 to 3 depth locations • Mark sensor depths and site • © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota !!! Read Sensors Frequently !!!!
  37. 37. SOIL WATER DEFICITS for Typical Soils & Soil Water Tensions Good Range for High Tunnels - 25 to 40 centibars Soil water tension in centibars, cbs Soil Texture 10 30 50 70 100 200 1500** Soil water deficit – inches per foot of soil Coarse sand 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.7 Fine sand 0 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.9 1.1 Loamy sand 0 0.4 0.5 0.8 0.9 1.1 1.4 Sandy loam 0 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.0 1.3 1.7 Loam 0 0.2 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.6 2.4 **1500 cbs is approximately the permanent wilting point for most plants and the soil water deficit values equal the soil’s available water holding capacity © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  38. 38. Soil Water Monitoring Sensors Installation Tips • Soak sensors in water 2-3 hours & air dry – repeat cycle 2/3 Xs • Place in soil profile within plant row at 1 to 2 depth locations • Mark sensor depths and site • !!! Read Sensors Frequently !!!! © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  39. 39. Soil Water Monitoring Irrometer Co - http://www.irrometer.com/ Spectrum Technologies - http://www.specmeters.com © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  40. 40. Automatic Soil Moisture Monitoring Save 10 to 20 minutes Each Day $500-650 Hansen AM400 Soil Moisture Data Logger WatermarkRegents of the University of Minnesota Logger © 2009 Soil Moisture Date
  41. 41. Extension Materials Minnesota High Tunnel Production Manual http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1218.html or http://www.mfvga.org/ Handbook –“Trickle Irrigation in the Eastern United States” NRAES #4 http://www.nraes.org High Tunnels for the Central Great Plains - Kansas http://www.hightunnels.org/ High Tunnel Production in Pennsylvania http://plasticulture.cas.psu.edu/H-tunnels.html Plastic Mulches & Drip for Vegetable Production North Carolina State University Extension http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-33.html Micro irrigation in Mulched Bed Production Systems: Irrigation Depths. Florida Cooperative Extension Making a Difference in Minnesota http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AE049 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  42. 42. *** Time for Questions *** © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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