Over the past few months we have been monitoring the growth of the fig trees where we installed NOVAPs in Porterville.
We converted surface drip irrigation to NOVAP Irrigation on approximately 2ha. The double line drip irrigation delivered 13,8l of water per hour per tree. We converted this to 8l of water per hour per tree, NOVAP Irrigation (A saving of 43%).
One of the biggest concerns on this farm was water penetration to deep root level as the trees were planted in clay-rich soil on a slope. We are pleased to report that despite receiving 40% less water, soil moisture content had increased from less than 40% from 300mm downward, to between 60% and 70% from 400mm-800mm deep. Another big advantage for the producer is the massive decrease in weed growth around the NOVAP irrigated trees.
These Novap irrigated trees also have bigger leaves than the surface drip blocks, which means better protection for the tree stem and fruit against direct sun. The current estimation is that there is between 10% and 15% more fruit on the NOVAP Irrigated blocks as well.
We will keep you posted on the season’s progress.