Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Irrigation systems are not cheap!

This has been a year of big expenses. The irrigation system being the biggest one! I guess that's a big reason reason half the farms in california do flood irrigation.

After researching and debating between sprinkler system and the drip, we went ahead with the drip.
  1. Sprinkler system:
    • Pros: Cheaper establishment cost, keeps the soil surface smooth, requires less labor, good for frost protection.
    • Cons: High electricity consumption, problem with wetted branches, uses more water.
  2. Drip system:
    • Pros: Efficient water usage, uniform tree growth.
    • Cons: Needs to be irrigated frequently, no frost protection, higher establishment costs, higher maintenance, lack of reserve moisture in the soil.
Although we have plentiful water supply from TID and ground wells, we decided against installing sprinkler system, hoping the drip will pay off in the longer term. I am not so sure now really. The other day, I read a research article from UC on how sprinkler system is better. Oh well!

We hope the irrigation system will be the last of the development expenses. The next year should just be ongoing farming expenses. Still, income from Whitmore ranch is a couple of years away, so crossing my fingers!

No comments:

Post a Comment