The only plant-based autonomous irrigation system
The only plant-based autonomous irrigation system
Fruits cracking up
Are your fruits cracking up just before harvest? It’s mostly about irrigation!
In soil grown plants It is important to maintain a balanced irrigation regime. In high water stress situations, the plant will increase its water-soluble solids content in order to pull water harder. That’s why Moving from a water-stressed situation to large irrigation, or rain can create a fast influx of water that may crack open fruits that are in their sensitive ripening stage. With that in mind, maybe you shouldn’t skip irrigations before rain in late ripening stages when you are worried about cracking.
in addition, During the night the plant roots create “water pressure” by pushing water up to the plant. This pressure can also affect fruits near ripening, especially if they are large and full of sugar. It may be wise to avoid night irrigations in sensitive fruits near ripening.
Fruit cracking is influenced by many other factors as well, but i
rrigation is in your hands, so do it wisely.
After rain irrigation
If you thought that after more than 250 mm rain in 3 days during the beginning of the winter you can stop worrying about irrigating your citrus, avocados or other persistent orchards for several weeks? Well, no!!!
The image shows the trunk fluctuations (green line) of a Clementine orchard in central Israel where during the last weekend fell around 100 mm each day. As can be seen, less than 2 days after the rain ended, the soil starts to show a decrease in its moisture and the trunk starts to show its regular daily contraction patterns. These two parameters are indicating that irrigation should be renewed. The GBI algorithm that SupPlant is applying in different species all around the world also deals with these and other special situations.
Flood irrigation VS. modern irrigation methods
Did you know that about 90% of the worlds irrigated areas are still irrigated with surface irrigation such as flood irrigation?
Flood irrigation is the oldest form of irrigation and has been used by farmers since ancient times. The efficiency of surface irrigation is estimated at about 40% while other modern irrigation methods can reach up to 80% efficiency and even more. That means that we can almost double the water available for agriculture by abandoning this old inefficient irrigation technique and move to more water-saving modern methods. This will require the involvement of officials and international organizations in collaboration with companies that develop water management technologies in order to make these technologies accessible all the way to the small farmer.
Most of the worlds agricultural land is in the hand of small farmers that may not be able to acquire these water saving technologies without help, whether in finance or guidance. Helping those small farmers move to more water-saving irrigation technology may not only improve their livelihood by increasing crops yield and quality but may also turn the tide in our global water crisis by releasing huge amounts of water from agriculture without lowering its productivity or profitability.
And frankly, can we really allow our self not to do that? For how long?
Late seasoned fertilization
Late seasoned fertilization is very important to deciduous fruits. In the early spring, when trees begin to flower and bloom there is a high demand for nutrients. But, the soil temperatures may still below, so the roots may not be fully active and nutrient absorption from the soil may be slow.
In this case, the supply of nutrients to developing flowers and leaves comes mainly from nutrients that were stored in the tree trunk and branches in the previous season. It is important to fill up these storages after harvest when there is no more demand for nutrients from the fruits so they can be available for the waking tree in the spring.
This is especially important in grafted deciduous trees where the scion (upper part) wakes up before the rootstock (the lower part), in these cases the tree may go through blooming flowering and fruit set before the rootstock is active and be completely depended on last year’s storages in order to supply the high demand for nutrients for all these processes.
A good example can be seen in this picture from an Almond orchard in Israel: an un-grafted peach rootstock wakes up and flowers long after the Almond grafts around it bloomed flowered and set fruit.
Did you know you can predict your plant’s behavior by measuring a unit called “degree days”?
Plants development is dependent on environmental temperature, and between a crop specific minimal temperature up to a maximal temperature, their development is quite linear. It takes a specific amount of heat to get the seed from germination to first true leaf, then another amount of heat from there to flowering, and so on… Degree days represent the number of daily hours above a certain temperature and can be calculated and summed up in order to predict when a crop will reach a certain growth stage. In the changing climatic conditions, we are experiencing lately degree days can explain a lot of the changes we see in crops behavior and help us predict how they will behave in the future.
Degree days also affect insect behavior and weed development, you can predict when a certain pest will reach a growth stage in which it will attack your crop, or when seeds of a certain weed will germinate and emerge from the soil. Knowing these in advance allows you to prepare and schedule your management activities.
Learning to use degree days is a bit like seeing the future, you can know when thing are going to happen before they happen and be prepared for them.
OIL OLIVES GROWERS this tip is for you !!
Irrigating oil olives close to harvest and oil extraction is a tricky business. usually, olive oil mills are most effective when the water content in the fruit is in the 50-55% area, maintaining this fine balance trough irrigation is important when desiring both high extraction efficiency and high-quality olive oil. Too little water will stress the trees and lead to olives with low water content, in the oil mill such olives will be hard to process and may yield lower quality oil. On the other hand, over irrigating can lead to olives with very high-water content, extracting oil from such olives may lead to lower extraction efficiency and lower quality oil. The oil and water content of the fruit can be checked in laboratories during fruit ripening and oil accumulation, and the water status of the trees can be monitored by modern monitoring systems preventing stressing or over irrigating in this critical period.
Double and deep-suture fruits
Did you know that In PEACH and NECTARINE, improper post-harvest irrigation in early-season varieties can lead during the following season to subsequent fruit-quality defects such as double and deep-suture fruits? During post-harvest, buds’ development and differentiation of flower parts occur.
During this time, irrigation is crucial and water stress may lead to these defects. Therefore, it is important to continue regularly scheduled post-harvest irrigation. If any deficit irrigation practice is performed during this period, it is crucial to consistently monitor the trees’ water status to ensure they do not enter a condition of acute stress.
Water-stressed trees and mite attacks
Did you know that water-stressed trees are more susceptible to mite attacks?
This may occur when early season temperatures are higher than normal, resulting in a condition known as “water stress” that the farmer may not even be aware of!
It could also be the result of insufficient irrigation during the hot season or implementation of RDI (Regulated Deficit Irrigation) techniques without constantly monitoring tree status and their stress levels.
In all these cases a monitoring system that prevents water stress can decrease trees’ susceptibility to mite attacks, improve tree health and their yield, while reducing the need for pesticide applications.
O l i v e growers – this tip is for you!
For table olive growers the period between the pit hardening and the harvest is a critical time for reaching large size olives. During this time the fruit’s cells expand in size and it is then that most of the fruit growth takes place.
Monitoring the plants’ growth status and preventing water stress is crucial for achieving the desired fruit size and receiving a higher price for it.
Avocado – The richest fruit in potassium.
Did you know that A v o c a d o is one of the richest fruits in potassium? One serving of avocado can contain up to 20% of the recommended daily intake for adults. It is not surprising that avocado trees have a high demand for potassium fertilization(liquid fertilizer). The yearly amount of potassium fertilization can reach up to 300 kg (K2O) per hectare per year, or even more (!!!) depending on soil and leaf analysis, and on the expected yield.
February 2018, Newsletter N.02
In this newsletter, you can read about us being chosen to take part in the Israeli delegation to India, an article of the story of SupPlant that has been published in the ‘Insightssuccess’ magazine and more.
Climate Change? What is it?
February 2018, White Paper N.01
At SupPlant, we are always busy studying and researching and we are happy to share with you our thoughts and findings.
We invite you to read about the phenomenon of Climate Change in a document issued by our agronomist experts and discussing what SupPlant is doing to minimize the climate change.