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Canopy Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation is the use of emitters of water at a lower rate of application. These emitters apply water directly to the source/plant. The benefits of drip irrigation are less water wastage compared to sprinklers with more water used directly to the plant's root zone.

Drip Irrigation is widely used overseas but not as common in New Zeland orchards. The rainfall in New Zealand expands the natural root growth of the plant. Sprinklers can effectively water the more extensive root growth, where drippers are watering the select area.

A sprinkler system is the most common system recommended for large root areas such as Apples, Pears, Stone fruit, Kiwifruit, Truffles, Passionfruit, Avocadoes, and Olives. Drip systems are commonly used in crops such as Strawberries, Blueberries, Vineyards, and smaller orchard trees.

Under Canopy Drip Irrigation Graphic

Which Dripper?

Drippers come in a variety of flow rates and applications. Standard flow rates for drippers are 2, 4 and 8 L/Hr, but can go much higher.  The example system we show is using 2 x 2 L/hr drippers spaced either side of the plant. Benefits of having one dripper as the water area would be less, not covering the roots' growth.

It's advised to have the drippers away from the plant trunk, so the water drops to the canopy floor. Avoid having water always on the plant's trunk, as it can make it susceptible to disease.

Drippers come as a take-apart or button dripper. The Take-Apart drippers have a top that can be unscrewed for cleaning and unclogging if any debris got into the line—saving time and money.

Pressure compensated drippers are recommended as you can ensure the distribution of water is even between the drippers. They are allowing for a precise calculation of flows per plant. The pressure compensated drippers also usually have a diaphragm inside the dripper to manage the flow. This diaphragm helps with alternating the clearance width. Helps to prevent blockage from debris.

Aquadrip Dripper 2 Litre per Hour
Drip Irrigation for Under Canopy Drippers
Drip Irrigation for Under Canopy Close Up
  • Take apart drippers w Green

    AquaDrip | Take Apart Dripper | Pressure Compensating

    $0.25
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If you would like to talk to one of our experts on what would suit your orchard, please phone on 0800 130 905, or fill out the form below to email.

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Above Canopy Irrigation

Above Canopy Orchard Sprinkler Systems

Not every orchard in New Zealand is the same, and not every irrigation system will work for everyone. Based on your environment and set up, you will need to come up with a system that can benefit you. Above the canopy, irrigation may work for some situations where below canopy isn't viable, or you need your frost protection to double as your irrigation system.

It is not a simplistic choice, and any decision has long term effects on costs and production, that need to be considered. It is always wise to consult with one of our designers before you decide on sprinkler type, flow rate, spacing etc.

Under Canopy versus Above Canopy

The reasoning for spraying under the canopy is to reduce the amount of disease caused by moisture in the canopy, Irrigating overhead is commonly done in New Zealand for frost protection and cooling.

There are different setups for under canopy irrigation, upright sprinklers on stakes of various types, upside down sprinklers hang via a tube, sometimes with a weight.

Above canopy orchard Irrigation

Which Sprinkler?

You need to consider the plant and the root area you are watering. Irrigating a large portion of the root volume is essential for most plants.

New Zealand's climate with regular rainfall commonly produces trees with extensive root volumes. A sprinkler system is the most common system we recommend for large root areas such as Apples, Pears, Stone fruit, Kiwifruit, Truffles, Passionfruit, Avocadoes, and Olives.

Drip systems are commonly used in crops such as Strawberries, Blueberries, Vineyards, and smaller orchard trees.

From all the options available, how do you choose a sprinkler system to suit your orchard?

If you are expanding an existing irrigation system, the general recommendation is to stay with the same sprinkler style, as this will make management a lot easier.

The sprinkler we recommend most is the Netafim Supernet, and there are some excellent reasons for this choice. The sprinkler has the best range of flow regulation in the market, and it has a self-flushing mechanism that reduces the chance of blocking, it is a quality sprinkler built to last, it has many stand options and connection options to suit.


Pros:
  • Wide regulating range and floating, self-flushing diaphragm maintains uniform flow across a broad pressure range.
  • Highest distribution uniformity - unique nozzle tube prevents adverse effects of varying inlet pressure on the wetted diameter.
  • The largest water passages on the market – resists clogging.
  • Drop-down “bug-proof” swivel/jet plate prevents entry of insects.
  • Engineering-grade materials and heavy-duty bearings result in superior endurance and long-term reliable uniformity.
  • Everspin bearing has a layer of sapphire material to reduce friction and wear, promoting long-lasting sprinkler performance.
  • Bearing keeps the swivel centered during the operation

Alternatives to the SuperNet sprinklers: 

The Netafim SuperNets, Nelson R10s and Rivulis S2000s are ideal for a wide range of applications, including irrigation, cooling, and frost protection for orchards and groves.

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SuperNet-Product
Above canopy orchard Irrigation

A SuperNet Stake or Adapter can assist your above canopy installation. The adapter fits onto either a 6mm and 8mm fibreglass or galvanised rod. These stakes/adapters have a snap-on connection to your SuperNet Sprinkler. Some systems use the stakes inserted into PVC pipe to hold the sprinkler upright for frost mitigation, which can double for an under canopy irrigation system.

SuperNet-and-Stake

If you would like to talk to one of our experts on what would suit your orchard, please phone on 0800 130 905, or fill out the form below to email.

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Products Used

  • netafim female barb fitting

    Netafim Female Press Fit Connector – 4mm x 6.5mm – Black or Grey

    $0.24
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  • netafim blue stake sprinkler fitting

    Netafim Sprinkler Adaptor

    $0.92
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  • supernet LRD purple

    Netafim SuperNet Sprinkler – Long Range with Deflector LRD – Press Fit

    $3.45
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  • netafim stake

    Netafim Supernet Sprinkler Stake

    $1.55
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  • PVC Pressure Pipe

    PVC Pressure Pipe – 1m Lengths

    $4.16$98.46
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