DRIP IRRIGATION FOR ALMOND TREES

Classification of the species

Almond (Amygdalus communis L.) is a tree species belonging to the family Rosaceae and the genus Amygdalus. Its cultivation is very old; nowadays it is experiencing a period of strong innovation and development both in Italy and abroad, thanks to new cultivation techniques mainly focused on mechanisation.

Water Requirements for Almond Tree 

Among environmental and crop factors, water supply plays a key role in the success of the investment: in fact, water regulates the relationship between vegetative development and reproductive activity, affecting both productivity and seed quality.

The water supply applied from the earliest stages of planting favours the rooting of the young plants, also allowing uniform vegetative development and a simultaneous and early entry into production.

Irrigation is particularly useful in poorly suited areas with low rainfall; in fact, almonds, although tolerant of water scarcity, benefit greatly from irrigation, the effects of which are very positive and help to prevent high stresses that can have a negative impact on the production yields of the year and subsequent years.

Like many stone fruit, in fact, the almond tree carries out a reproductive sub-cycle destined for the following year’s production simultaneously with the summer growth phase of the fruit.

That is why it is important not to generate water and nutritional stress at this delicate stage. In specialised almond cultivation, the water requirement is on average 2000-2500 m3/ha, reaching 3000-3500 m3/ha in super-intensive systems.

How to water Almond: driplines

Of modern irrigation systems, drip-by-drip irrigation is certainly the most suitable method for irrigating almonds. Irritec offers different solutions depending on the business and agronomic characteristics.

For traditional almond orchards cultivated with a wide spacing, for example, the system consisting of a tube hung among the plant with external iDrop type drippers installed in numbers ranging from 2 to 4 per plant may be chosen; the hourly flow rate of the drip heads and the number of drip heads depends on the water flow rate available at the cpmany.

We recommend the iDrop drip head in the self-compensating version to ensure uniform dispensing even on hilly and sloping terrain. With reference to modern almond cultivation centred on higher planting densities, on the other hand, the irrigation solution relies on Multibar C type driplines in a number of 1 or 2 per row; also in this case, both the hourly flow rate and the spacing depend on the farm’s water availability as well as the planting layout and soil texture: considering the reduced distance of the plants along the row, the objective is to create a wet strip along the row to favour the rooting of small plants with a reduced root system. The length of the drip lines also depends on the hourly flow rate, spacing, diameter, slope and working pressure.

In order to facilitate the mechanisation of all cultivation operations, reduce obstacles, save water and enhance fertigation, more and more producers are using subirrigation, which involves the burial of the drip line at the level of the rhizosphere.

In this case, Irritec’s strong point is the Multibar C Rootguard version dripline, an absolute guarantee against potential problems of occlusion due to root intrusion.

Filtration

Filtration of irrigation water is extremely important. Irritec offers a wide range of filters depending on the type of water supply, water quality and company availability. In addition to the choice of mesh, disc or manual grit filters, Irritec offers filtration systems capable of automatically backwashing the filter elements by means of special control units; in this way the system becomes more efficient, both in terms of manpower and the performance of the irrigation plant.

Almond Fertigation and Automation

Another important part of the irrigation system is fertigation. Here again Irritec offers a wide range of choices, ranging from classic Venturi systems to fertigation banks that allow you to manage one or more fertilisers in a highly professional manner; these systems are characterised by their ease of use and, above all, by their excellent adaptability to open-field crops such as almonds.

Dosabox Junior Advanced, for example, is an excellent solution for injecting one to three fertilisers into the pipeline proportionally or to EC and pH targets.

The supplied Commander NPK programmer, unique in its segment, makes the unit extremely versatile, as in addition to choosing the best method of fertiliser injection, it allows constant monitoring of the two main quality parameters of irrigated water (pH and EC), management of the fertiliser stirring system and up to 4 digital meters (1 for water and 3 for fertilisers).

Finally, the Commander EVO line programmers guarantee reliability in the automatic management of the entire irrigation system: setting up shifts and irrigation volumes with automatic opening and closing of solenoid valves in the field (via cable or radio), cleaning filters, setting up fertigation, managing volumetric meters, weather stations and agri-environment monitoring sensors.

Almond trees growing, drip irrigation system

A practical example of how to drip irrigate almond trees:

Almond irrigation system design

Here are the Irritec products you need to drip irrigate almond trees

1

MULTIBAR™ – iDROP

The characteristics of the self-compensating drip head make Multibar® an ideal product for installations in areas with large differences in ground level, where extremely long line lengths and constant flow rates are required in every portion of the system along with the high delivery precision typical of highquality crops.

drip-line-almond-tree-irritec-multibar-idrop

2

PIPES IN PE E CONNECTO™

The Connecto™ line of compression fittings for the conveying pressurised fluids, particularly suitable for irrigation and gardening systems, is characterised by its great speed and ease of assembly.

Almond Trees Tubing in PE and Connecto Irritec

3

METAL FILTERS

Irritec® metal filters are robust and durable. They can manage a wide range of flow rates. Manual or automatic models are available for canal and well water applications.

filters for almond tree irrigation system irritec

4

FERTIGATION

Irritec® injection systems are reliable and easy to use. They allow the injection of fertilisers (liquid or diluted in water) at rates of between 150 l/h and 1700 l/h (depending on the model).

A fertigation system for almond trees by Irritec

5

DRIPLINE FITTINGS AND BRANCHES

Complete range for connecting tape, light and classic dripline, available in sizes 16, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 29 mm.

Almond Trees Dripline Fittings and branches Irritec

Discover how to irrigate others crops

Irritec wants to make life easier for those who take care of the plants, for work and for passion. We aim to ensure that every drop is spent as well as possible, minimizing the ecological footprint.

Agronomic Irritec Team support the farmer also on after-sale and installation, with continuous assistance and efficiency control. Continuous attention to the customer needs to provide succesful and sustainable solution with an efficience service.