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“After implementing fertigation, one company cut the watering times on the test properties in half, and then reduced the watering days by 30 percent, resulting in a 60 percent reduction in total water usage.

The method behind the madness is correct nutrient application and addition of organic products. Plants and soils become healthier and stronger, allowing them to use water more efficiently. A healthy plant requires less water, less fertiliser and maintains a higher disease and insect resistance.

In addition, the use of recycled water is becoming more prevalent, to help reduce the use of potable water. Recycled water normally has a high pH and dissolved solids, which may be harmful to landscapes and soils if not properly remediated. Fertigation can be used to reduce pH levels, making recycled water more compatible with landscapes and soils, with many low-cost inputs. Organic materials are typically the best option, as they have proven effective and are readily available.”

“Proper plant nutrition is a vital key to saving water by optimising root development, root size and bulk enhancing the ability for the plant to make use of the minerals.

For example the “macro” nutrients increase the ability to use water more efficiently where Nitrogen deficiencies have an impact on the ability of a crop to convert available water into yield and Phosphorus in stimulating seedling root development, this helps the plant explore more soil, increasing the recovery of nutrients and water.Potassium is often referred to as the regulator nutrient, influencing the water dynamics in plants.”

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 “Water is no longer free; it is slowly becoming a precious and expensive commodity. In bottled form, water is typically more expensive than gasoline. Our industry has done a superb job in recognizing this fact and responding. Many technologies are now available that allow us to save water consumption, such as drip irrigation, low impact sprinklers, moisture sensors and ET controllers, to name a few.

Fertigation can be combined with these technologies to further enhance their capabilities. Mauricio Troche, director of marketing for Netafim USA, says, “Drip irrigation and fertigation go hand in hand. The combination of both makes it the most efficient way to water and fertilise at the same time.” When installed appropriately, all of these products allow for the lush green landscapes ( and crops) we enjoy while promoting a responsible use of our resources.”

“After the initial installation of a fertigation system, a reduction in watering time of 10 percent is recommended, followed by an additional 10 percent in three months. After one year of continual nutrient application, another 10 percent cut may be made, to produce a total of 30 percent less water required for the exact same landscape utilizing the same irrigation system. Field studies have shown that even more impressive results are available to saving water.”

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