Looking to launch a new irrigation system in Mexico by the end of this year, Bayer and the Israeli company Netafim have joined resources in the development of crop protection products applied during drip irrigation.
The new approach is called “DripByDrip,” and both “water and crop protection are distributed throughout the fields via the drip irrigation system and then delivered directly to the roots of the crops,” a release from Bayer says, adding, “This approach will enable farmers to apply crop protection products in a more targeted way using Netafim’s drip irrigation technology.”
Mathias Kremer, head the Bayer Division of Strategy and Portfolio Management at Crop Science, said, “To satisfy the increasing global food demand, we need to find clever solutions to further reduce the environmental impact of farming and save natural resources while assuring high agricultural productivity.” Kremer continued, “With the new system farmers will need less water and crop protection products, because the crops are taking them up directly through the roots. This enables them to develop well and protects them against pest and fungal infestations, which results in higher yields and better quality for farmers and consumers.”
Netafim CEO Ran Maidan also said, “The new combined system is very much in line with our company purpose statement: Grow more with less. Our drip irrigation has been used for many years as a delivery system for applying water and nutrients in a precise and timely manner to the plants’ roots, helping farmers to achieve higher and better crop yields while saving water. Now, farmers will also be able to apply crop protection products in a more targeted way, to reduce their input of crop protection products, and use them in an even more effective and safe way. With DripByDrip, we will provide growers with an innovative, sustainable and easy-to-use solution, which combines technologies and know-how of smart crop protection with smart drip irrigation.”
Proven benefits for farmers and the environment
Trials conducted by Bayer and Netafim have shown “that yields increased and net revenues rose due to improved quality, and the number of applications was also reduced significantly, in one trial even by 53 percent.”
The drip irrigation system also demonstrably reduces the use of water, the release said.
“Tests have shown that water use efficiency is increased to up to 95 percent compared to 40 percent or less with traditional flood irrigation. Drip irrigation also increases the efficiency of fertilizer application, and helps prevent nitrate leaching into ground water, which becomes a serious hazard in agricultural regions that are using overdoses of nitrogen,” according to Dubi Raz, Netafim’s Corporate Agronomy director.
View the video on the benefits of using the combined below.