Plants need water and nutrients – so why not to combine the application of both. Such a combination is called
applies nutrients together with the irrigation water.
Scarcity of water in good quality is becoming a major concern in the world. Agriculture
segment is the largest user of water, and has
the target to enhance water-use-efficiency. Nutrigation technology allows a
better use of water. Micro-irrigation systems have been
developed, and provide a better water-use-efficiency of between 80% to 90 % with
Drip System, while
other irrigation practices only have a 40-50 % water-use-efficiency. Drip
irrigation places the water close to the roots. This reduces the volume of watered
soil and the water loss by evaporation. In the past 20 years, the acreage
under drip irrigation has grown substantially and is growing.
Drip irrigation system:
Once a drip irrigation system is established, it invites to
be used not only for irrigation, but also for nutrigation, as
fertilizers can be easily dissolved in a tank with water prior to application, and
injected into the irrigation water according to crop demand.
The shift from traditional fertilizer practice of solid fertilizers to
requires different technical know how and different types of fertilizers.
Micro-irrigation systems are sensitive to clogging, therefore mineral
particles e.g. from incompletely dissolved fertilizers, precipitation or microbial
growth have to be avoided and the fertilizers, either in solid or liquid form,
as straights or ready-made mixtures have to be completely water soluble.
Under drip irrigated conditions, the soil volume in which the
roots grow will be reduced to the soil volume that is watered. A high
root density is found in these wet bulbs and it is crucial to ensure
optimum growth conditions in terms of nutrient and water supply. In order to
avoid salinity problems, nutrigation should use fertilizers, like calcium
nitrate, potassium nitrate etc., which do not contain any other elements that are not
necessary for the nutrition of the crop.
With nutrigation, plant nutrients in readily and highly available form can be
placed close to the roots in required rates when needed. As crops
require different rates of each nutrient at specific physiological growth
stages, nutrigation enables the grower to increase yield and fine tune quality
of the crop and to strongly enhance fertilizer-use-efficiency.
The yield increase in nutrigation systems is in line with
the need to intensify land-use-efficiency to meet the food demand of
the growing population by production on a shrinking acreage of available
arable land. Furthermore, the higher nutrient-use-efficiency is of advantage
for the environment, as nutrients used by the crop are not lost by leaching or
gaseous losses (volatilization).
The benefits of Nutrigation:
Together with our
Haifa Chemicals Ltd, Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals bv, Yara
PR Agro offers the whole range of highly water-soluble fertilizers and chelated
micronutrients, which suits best to fertigation systems.