Arizona Drip Systems, Inc. – Fuel Saving Equipment, Water Saving Subsurface Drip Irrigation
History & Background
Drip irrigation was born in Israel’s Negev Desert in 1965. Since then, drip irrigation has spread throughout the world. There are eight major manufacturers that produce a large variety of products that include surface and subsurface tubing and tape, all kinds of valves and control devices as well as filters.
Drip irrigation is considered by far the most efficient system available on the market today, when properly maintained and operated.
Orchards and vineyards were some of the first users’ of surface drip, partly because of their higher value and because they were on undulating ground. The sugarcane fields of Hawaii were early users of subsurface drip. The Hardy Irrigation Company named their Hardy Bi-Wall Tape, “The Cane Special”.
Other early users of drip irrigation were fruit and vegetable growers, as well as, strawberry growers. Strawberries planted on plastic mulch with the dripper lines directly under the mulch, provided an excellent way to irrigate the crop twice a day and still be able to harvest the field without any interference from the irrigation system.
With subsurface drip (SSDI), where the lines are buried from 8″-12″ below the surface, conservation tillage has become quite popular. Since the water is delivered through a plastic tube, or tape, below the ground; the need for a furrow to convey the water down to the other end of the field is eliminated. This then allows for stubble mulches and plant residue to cover the soil, further reducing evaporation and/or soil drying and cracking. Soil microbes like living below the crop residue mulch because of the superior aeration and moisture. With these side benefits from SSDI, much higher yields are possible where fields are flooded which causes the soil to be compacted and forcing all of the air from the soil, which then requires ripping or plowing or both to get air back into the soil.
Sundance Farms has become a pioneer in conservation tillage because of its SSDI systems and its specialized equipment it has developed over the past twenty two years.