This past July, Jain Irrigation was invited by the National Onion Association to showcase a 130-acre drip irrigation onion field grown with Chapin Drip Tape to a group of onion producers that came to visit from all parts of the country. It was a great opportunity to share with over 200 individuals the importance of drip irrigation and how local growers in the Treasure Valley (a valley in Western Idaho/Eastern Oregon rich in resources) are adopting this technology to their own farms.
50% of the current Treasure Valley onion market has adopted drip irrigation. This change is beneficial for increased crop yields, improved onion size and bulb quality, and saves water and fertilizer. The estimated water savings are as high as 30% and fertilizer savings are up to 50%. Russell Frisbee Farms was the partner grower with this onion field and is a 3rd generation farmer in the valley. They farm about 400 acres of onions and have a unique planting method where they plant 16 seed lines of onions on an 11-ft bed to maximize as much of the soil surface as possible. They installed 4 Chapin Drip lines just below the bed at a depth of 1 ½ inches. This allows for a uniform and even lateral movement of water to move across the bed and irrigate the crop. The grower irrigates the onions every 3 days for about 12 hours each irrigation.
This allows the grower to uniformly apply ¾” of water to the onion crop at a uniformity rate of approximately 90%. This high rate of uniformity is one way this grower is able to save about 30% of their water compared to more traditional furrow irrigated practices. Another water-saving method for this farm is the advent of PureSense Soil Moisture Monitoring. An easy-to-use, moisture monitor that gives the grower real-time information to help manage their water and schedule their irrigation events. This remote system allows growers to farm many fields from a distance, and make water-management decisions directly from their phone or mobile device.
With the rapid innovation of new irrigation technology, Jain Irrigation looks forward to leading the path to innovation and helping growers world wide maximize their crop yields while conserving our precious resources. It’s our passion and mission to: “Leave this world better than you found it.”