Agrinet is a wholesale supplier and distributor of a wide range of products across 10 specialist categories that cater to hardware retail, specialist industrial and irrigation markets in Africa.

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER DRIP IRRIGATION FOR AGRICULTURE BY RIVULIS

Water scarcity, soaring energy costs, deterioration of agricultural land and desertification, threaten agricultural development and food production for the fast-growing world population.  Irrigated agriculture increases yield per land unit twice up to ten-fold, compared to non-irrigated farming.

The principle irrigation technologies are surface irrigation, mechanized irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and micro-irrigation.

Surface irrigation is regarded as the most wasteful technology. Irrigation efficiency is mostly below 40%. In sprinkler and mechanized irrigation, the efficiency ranges from 60% to 85%. In micro-irrigation, efficiency can attain 90% - 95%.(1)

Rivulis dripper pipe

Drip irrigation or drip pipe as it is more commonly known is becoming an increasingly popular form of irrigation for a variety of reasons. Financial gain usually being the deciding factor when this form of irrigation is chosen above other methods like flood or sprinkler irrigation.

The main advantages of using a drip pipe are:

- Saving water due to water dripping directly on the roots of the plant as opposed to the use of sprinklers/sprayers that spread the water on a large surface area, therefore, less water gets evaporated, or draws into the soil that does not need to be irrigated.

- Allows fertiliser to be applied directly to the plant, therefore saving on the cost of fertiliser as well as controlling the amount of fertiliser being applied to each individual plant.

-  As drip pipe is available in a variety of different flow rates, the amount of water that is delivered to each plant can be controlled, eliminating the possible negative consequences of too much or too little water/fertiliser.

- Increased yield due to the plant getting what it needs to grow more effectively.

- Lightweight, allowing for easy handling and installation. It is also common practice to remove the drip pipe from the irrigated field to allow for ploughing or soil tilling, the drip pipe is then placed back in the field for the replanting of crops.

- Corrosion resistant, allowing the use of chemicals, fertilisers and herbicides.

- Reliable performance that requires very little or no maintenance.

- Smooth interior allowing for low friction losses.

- UV resistant, non-toxic and odourless making it suitable for use with potable water.

- Affordability.

- No moving parts, minimising “wear and tear”.

- Very little pressure (min 0.5bar) is required in order for the dripper to serve its function. In cases where the pressure is too high, a pressure reducing valve can be used to get the required pressure.

- Pressure compensated drippers can be used on uneven or elevated terrain in order to maintain a consistent flow through all the drippers in the line. 

Rivulis dripper pipe

Drip pipe is available in a range of shapes and sizes depending on the specific requirements of the end user, even though the basic concept would remain the same. The extrusion process with regards to the manufacturing of the pipe allows a type of dripper selected to be inserted on the inside of the pipe at the requested spacing. At the end of the extrusion process, holes are drilled which would allow the water to follow the inner channels or labyrinth of the dripper and drip out of the pipe at the required flow rate and spacing.

Agrinet stocks the following Rivulis Drip pipe products:

- The Rivulis Eolos is a non-pressure compensated flat dripper that is well proven in rough field conditions with a double inlet design that provides continuous clean water entry and high clogging resistance. The flat shape allows for longer laterals than cylindrical drippers due to lower friction losses. Supplied in thin tightly packed packages for easy transportation, also easily retrievable to be re-used Recommended use in citrus and deciduous tree irrigation as well as row crops, vineyards and greenhouses.

rivulis eolos

The Rivulis Olympos is a pressure compensated flat dripper that offers a constant flow over a wider pressure range with a larger flow passage which provides a high clogging resistance. Recommended use in greenhouses, row crops, trees and vineyard irrigation as well as slopes with elevation differences to ensure a constant and uniform flow rate throughout the drip lateral.

rivulis olympos

Rivulis T-Tape is the original T-Tape which is a thin wall, extremely versatile and cost-effective 1 – 2 season drip pipe. It does not work with individual drippers as is the case with the Olympos and Eolos, but rather one integrated dripper that runs the length of the pipe allowing a much larger inlet surface to prevent clogging. T-Tape has 13-211 inlet filters per emitter, only 5 inlet filters are needed in order for the emitter to function correctly. The flap outlet and high tensile strength of the T-Tape allow for sub-surface installation. Recommended use for seasonal crops and vegetables.

 rivulis t-tape

A very important point to remember when using drip irrigation is filtration. All liquid that is intended to go through the pipe must be filtered to help prevent blockages. For instance, if the distance between each dripper in the line is 30cm and a blockage occurs in one of the drippers, the distance between the two unblocked drippers will increase to 60cm and the plant next to the blocked dripper will not get the required water/fertiliser. Although filters could be inexpensive, it is also important to choose one that is resistant to chemicals as well as the correct filtration grade – for drip irrigation 100 - 130 microns is recommended.

Another important factor with regards to the manufacture of the pipe is that the correct raw material and UV stabilisers are used. If the incorrect combination or inferior raw materials are used the life span of the pipe could be decreased by a few years, so it is very important to choose a reliable supplier with experience in the field and that is able to offer a guarantee on their product.

The worldwide leader in drip pipe is Rivulis Irrigation with manufacturing plants worldwide including France, Spain, Israel and the USA. Rivulis Irrigation started producing drip irrigation in 1966 and has since been helping farmers worldwide better manage resources, grow more consistent crops and increase yields.

Agrinet has chosen Rivulis as their sole supplier of drip pipe and associated fittings due to their outstanding quality as well as the superb back-up service that they provide. Agrinet can be contacted for more information regarding the range of Rivulis drip pipe available.

Sources: 1. Moshe Sne,  Retired Irrigation and Plant Nutrition Consultant