Whether you’re a lifestyle block owner growing a few apples or pears, or a commercial grower with hectares of orchards, getting irrigation water to your fruit trees is vitally important, particularly in those areas of the country where regular rainfall is hard to come by.
Unlike other crops which are able to cope with foliage being saturated, fruit trees have a particular requirement to be irrigated at a lower level to prevent fungal infections on fruit, leaves and stems. To meet this need RX Plastic have modified our standard K-Line product specifically for orchards.
K-Line benefits refined for orchardists
Whilst it provides all of the advantages of a traditional K-Line system – portability, durability and water efficiency – K-Line Std – Orchard also adds a pop-up sprinkler with a low, 9º trajectory to get to the base of the tree and avoid the delicate canopy, minimising disease and fungal growth during the growing season.
Like other K-Line systems these sprinklers sit in a robust, plastic pod, so even if you are running stock under your trees your irrigation system is protected.
Effective and efficient water delivery
As with other K-Line systems, there are a number of options and configurations available for orchardists, with three pipe sizes (32mm, 40mm and 45mm) and four nozzle sizes for the pop-up sprinkler. As with all K-Line systems, these operate on low pressure and their low application rate ensures efficient water use.
At full capacity, with pods 12m apart, a 180m x 12m strip can be covered at any one time, with the largest sprinkler nozzle applying approximately 5.5mm of water each hour.
Usual practice is to leave each run for four hours at a time, after which the pipe can easily be relocated using a quad bike or by using a K-Line Karousel (see below).
Advantages of portability
Using a portable irrigation system like the K-Line comes into its own not only in growing season but also at harvest time as it can be completely removed allowing machinery move between trees without damaging the irrigation lines.
Another option for moving the pipe lines is to use K-Line KarouselsTM, which were designed specifically for crops planted in rows and thus perfect for orchards.
The K-Line KarouselTM enable lines of up to 120m to be turned around 90º, meaning that, when deployed in pairs, a line can be pulled out of one row then around the two turnstiles into another row.
If you’re after a flexible, customisable irrigation solution for your orchard, check out the K-Line Orchard brochure on the website.
About the Author
Still rivers run deep with Phil, our technical product manager. He is a hands-on kinda guy who has been known to not only get out on the farm to demonstrate products to our customers, but also to turn his considerable skills to whipping up a company brochure or designing a piece of software when the occasion demands it.More Content by Phil Gatehouse