As conventional growing moves to automated fertilizer injection or fertigation, it is important to plan and account for system maintenance to ensure proper nutrient delivery. The use of fertigation with irrigation systems is rapidly growing in popularity.
- Reduced labor and chemical application cost
- Incorporation and activation of fertilizers for crops grown under drip systems in drier climates
- Timely application of chemicals
- Reduction of soil compaction and mechanical damage to the crop
- Improved operator safety when applying pesticides
- Reduction in the amount of chemical use
- Potential reduction of environmental contamination
- Improved crop production
What is Fertigation?Fertigation is the injection of fertilizers used for soil amendments, water amendments, and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system. Fertigation is related to chemigation, the injection of chemicals into an irrigation system. Fertigation will continue to increase due to the many advantages offered by this technology. Better application efficiencies offer a reduction in the amount of fertilizer used. Fertigation offers the possibility of timely applications of the appropriate amount of fertilizers, resulting in less impact on the environment. You can check out one of our favorite fertigation systems here.
Automated venturi based fertigation systems rely on pressure to properly meet and adjust its injection to meet desired EC and pH values. Whether injecting nutrients, acids, or lyes, it is important to keep your filters clean.
What is a Venturi, and how does it work?
A Venturi is a system for speeding the fluid flow by constricting it in a cone-shaped tube. In the restriction, the fluid must increase its velocity reducing its pressure and producing a partial vacuum. For venturis to properly function, the most important element is to ensure that the nutrients are fully mixed and that solids or any other debris are filtered upstream of the injection unit to prevent blockage or complete system failure. Backflow prevention is also highly recommended. In automated venturi-based injection units, solenoids control the timing and amount of injection necessary to meet your targets. In almost all cases, it is essential to have a primary filter after a nutrient storage tank and secondary filters at the venturis.
Poor filtration will also damage expensive sensors and may cause unforeseeable problems later down the road.
Are your nutrients being premixed, transferred, and stored in nutrient tanks? Are they dissolvable solids? Are they concentrated liquids? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then filtration is necessary.
How often do you need to clean filters?
Check filters frequently to maximize production and limit downtime. Start by monitoring every week. If no visible debris impacted any of your filters, try 2 weeks, then 3 weeks, and so on. Since each application and nutrients being used is different, set your own schedule to determine when filters need to be cleaned as part of your own routine maintenance.
Properly filtering your nutrients will maximize production and avoid costly repairs and system downtime. IDC has service packages available to help keep you growing strong and keep your costly fertigation system investment running at its peak performance.