Throughout the year, it is a good practice to check your irrigation system for leaks, wear, corrosion and other physical damage that can limit the efficiency of the system.
Proper irrigation provides the tree with the water it needs, especially during periods of drought and during the important stages of flowering, fruit set and enlargement, and leaf expansion. Irrigation reduces water stress in the trees, thereby enabling the tree to be more productive.
Damaged equipment can lead to insufficient irrigation or an excessive use of water, which is not only wasteful but can increase fuel costs. If you are utilizing fertigation or chemigation, then the product you are injecting may potentially be wasted, or the trees will not receive the appropriate rate if your system is not operating properly. When there is not enough water applied, yield reduction and canopy loss may be experienced.
Pumps, pipes, valves and tubing get many hours of use through the year and are subject to normal wear and tear, along with incidental damage that may occur. If you inspect your system routinely, you may be able to catch an issue before it becomes worse.
Some of the first signs of a problem are changes in the usual line pressure, volume and/or flow of the system, excessively dry or wet irrigated areas, or even wilted trees. These changes can be caused by broken pipes, torn poly tubing and damaged or missing emitter heads. Keeping records of irrigation run times and gallons of water used can help alert you to a problem.
Pumps can break down, causing an immediate emergency, especially in …..
Learn more about how to Inspect Your Irrigation System Regularly on the Citrus Industry website.