Testing a mobile drip irrigation system on potato farms

Carl Boivin

Researcher, agr., M.Sc.

418 643-2380
ext 430

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Description

This project aims to optimize water use in irrigated potato crops. An existing center pivot irrigation system will be converted to a mobile drip irrigation system (MDIS) by replacing the sprinklers with drip tubing. The tubing is dragged over the ground by the pivot as it advances. Water is therefore mainly applied to the ground under the canopy, thus limiting water losses through evaporation, drift and water falling between rows. Moreover, it avoids wetting the foliage. Also, the height of water applied per episode is lower, which decreases nitrate leaching and prevents fungicides from being washed off the foliage. The equipment can also be used to irrigate the rotation crop. Although its usefulness remains to be demonstrated under production conditions in Quebec, the MDIS could become a means to improve irrigation efficiency, reduce pesticide use and increase the profitability of the farm.

Objective(s)

  • Detail the conversion of an existing center pivot irrigation system to a mobile drip irrigation system (MDIS).
  • Compare the agronomic, economic and environmental performance of the center pivot system and the MDIS in a potato crop and a corn and soybeans rotation.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of using a MDIS system under different water supply conditions.
  • Disseminate the relevant results to the farming community.

From 2021 to 2024

Project duration

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