DRIP IRRIGATION FOR AVOCADO TREES

Cultural background, origin and dissemination

The avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is one of the world’s fastest-growing crops due to the increasing popularity of the fruit, now considered a ‘super food’ due to its high nutritional and health value.

Originally from South America, the plant is widely cultivated there, and Mexico is the world’s leading producer and exporter.

This plant is also found in the tropical and sub-tropical climate zones of Africa, Australia and Europe. Here, among the Mediterranean countries, Spain and Portugal lead in production, followed by Greece and Italy.

Irrigation system for Avocado trees 

The drip irrigation system is ideal for irrigating tropical species and, in particular, avocados. Micro-flow systems are the most efficient way to distribute watering throughout the irrigation season considering the high annual water requirements (5,300-7,000 m3/ha in Mediterranean areas, 8,000-10,000 m3/ha in tropical regions), preferably opting for frequent but not abundant irrigation.

In addition, micro-irrigation guarantees flexibility and timeliness in managing water and fertilisers on the farm. The farmer can decide to act as quickly as possible depending on the different crop circumstances (varietal aspects, plant phenology, nutritional deficiencies, climatic variations, etc.).

For the micro-irrigation system to function correctly over time, it is essential to safeguard it from physical occlusion (suspended solids) using an accurate filtering system and chemical occlusion (deposit of dissolved salts in the water).

In the latter case, it is essential to thoroughly solubilise the fertilisers to be injected into the pipeline and to carry out more or less frequent washing of the drip lines. Irritec offers iDrip Care, a product for preventing and resolving problems caused by fouling and the formation of biofilms, bacteria, legionellosis, and protozoa.

Irritec Solutions

Irritec offers a variety of solutions for avocado irrigation: one example is the Irritec iDrop online pipe + dripper system, in the ‘normal’, self-compensating and self-compensating with DropStop system versions (to stop the water flow at the end of irrigation), which makes the system flexible since, as the plant grows, the number of drippers/plant can be increased.

In other cases, a single drip line with an inline dripper laid along the row or attached to the plants (to facilitate mechanical work in the row) or a double drip line laid above or below ground (sub-irrigation) is recommended.

In the latter case, the laying of the drip lines is carried out at about 60-80 cm from the trunk and at a depth varying between 20 and 35 cm; if well managed, sub-irrigation guarantees irrigation efficiency of over 95% (considerable reduction of losses due to evaporation from the soil) allowing, not only major water and energy savings but also the containment of weeds and total freedom of passage for mechanical means.

The drip lines are heavy (thickness between 35 and 47 millimetres, i.e. between 0.9 and 1.2 mm), with spacing between 50 and 75 cm depending on the planting pattern and hourly flow rates of 2 or 4 litres.

Specifically, reference is made to the ‘normal’ Junior and Tandem classical dripline with cylindrical dripper and the self-compensating Multibar line. In addition to the Drop Stop and Anti-Siphon functions (to prevent the suction of impurities), the Multibar C with cylindrical dripper and the Multibar F with flat dripper also feature Rootguard technology.

This anti-root system allows the dripper to be buried and avoids potential root blockages. Combining these features makes the Multibar line super-efficient in terms of uniform delivery, ensuring excellent performance over time and lending itself, thanks to the self-compensating function, to all those companies with extreme topographical situations and/or with very long rows.

The special design of the dripper allows continual delivery of the nominal flow rate with variations in operating pressure within a range between 0.5 and 4.5 bar.

Water: an essential resource for the avocado tree 

Its tropical origin and the fruit’s high-fat content make the avocado a plant that benefits significantly from irrigation, so water is essential for the correct setting of an avocado vegetative-productive plan.

Irrigating the plants from the moment they are planted allows them to be optimally connected to the soil (avoiding transplant stress, which could seriously compromise the plant), ensures the rapid development of the root system, and strengthens the stem and the foliage.

If fertigation is also used – the avocado benefits greatly from nitrogen and potassium fertilisation and micro-nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and zinc – then a perfect homogeneity in plant growth and entry into production can be achieved.

Irrigation is even more crucial during the reproductive period; the critical stages are flowering and early fruit development.

Avocado Tree Growing: drip irrigation

A practical example of how to drip irrigate avocado trees:

Irrigation System for Avocado Tree

Here are the Irritec products you need to drip irrigate avocado tree

1

MULTIBAR® C ROOTGUARD

The characteristics of the pressure compensating dripper 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 and high delivery precision typical of high quality crops.

Avocado Dripline Multibar C Irritec

2

PIPELINES IN PE AND CONNECTO ™

Single-ply PVC flexible pipeline reinforced with a high-strength fabric that is easy to handle and store. Facilitates end-of-season operations for irrigation systems that need to be moved quickly and safely. Lightweight and flexible yet durable, it reduces installation costs and recovery time.

Easy to cut and equipped with a wide range of connections makes the layflat pipe system an indispensable accessory for drip irrigation of tomatoes. Available from 2.4 to 6 bar, in all commercial diameters from 1 1/2′ to 8′.

Pipes and connecto Irritec for avocado trees

3

METAL FILTER

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

Irrigation filter for avocado tree 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).

Fertigation System Avocado Trees - 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.

Fitting and valves for irrigation system for avocado

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.