Key Pillars of successful farming
The key pillars underlying a successful farming operation are the Farmer, the crop and the method of irrigation. It is therefore imperative that a farmer understands the basic relationship surrounding these three entities.
The primary need of the farmer is to earn a living, but every choice he makes, influences the success with which this goal is obtained. It is therefore important to understand the farmer’s management style, the economical viability of the farming process, and the long-term sustainability of the farming operation.
The farmer plants a crop to generate income. In order to do this the farmer has to determine the needs of his crop. It is crucial that the farmer does everything in his power to meet these crop requirements in order to ensure that the highest possible yield with the best quality is produced. A plant needs (1) light, (2) water, (3) food, (4) oxygen and (5) temperature to grow. However, these needs are influenced by the climatic conditions of the area where the crop is cultivated. To allow the farmer to manage climatic conditions to his advantage an irrigation system must be installed.
The irrigation system is the tool with which the farmer can achieve high yields with good quality products. The choice of a suitable irrigation method is of utmost importance, and the farmer needs to understand the concept in which the irrigation system applies water. This can be understood by example of a “cup” “bucket” and “trough concept...
- A “cup” irrigation system applies water in a very small area, resulting in a localized root area. This allows you to manipulate the plant better. If irrigation is stopped, the plant will go into stress much quicker. At the same time, lower pressure is necessary for the emitter, and smaller emitter holes.
- The “bucket” results in a bigger wetted area or strip wetting. A bigger area is achieved with slightly higher pressure at the emitter and a bigger emitter flow path. There is also less equipment in the field.
- The “trough” irrigation system is a system that wets the total planted area. This leads to a big root zone, which is very easy to manage, but might have a lower application efficiency, if the correct emitter choice is not made.
The farmer has to look at the crop, the concept of irrigation system he is going to use and consider his own management style to make the final decision. The decision that will give the highest income with the lowest input with the lowest risk.