Dam Liner

FISH FARMING IN KENYA – EUNIDRIP IRRIGATION

Fish farming in Kenya involves rearing fish in tanks or enclosures for human consumption. It is an upcoming agricultural industry that keeps developing as time goes by. Fish farming in Kenya is mainly for local consumption, with a small percentage being exported. Fish are nutritious food rich in omega-three that help in brain development. We can classify fish into two main groups, i.e., fresh water and saltwater fish. Examples of freshwater fish in Kenya are tilapia and Nile perch, while examples of saltwater fish include crabs and octopus. Most freshwater fish farmers prefer to rear tilapia since it is disease resistant and has a high demand in the country.

Methods of fish farming in Kenya

There are four fishing methods that most Kenyan farmers use. These methods include:

  1. Freshwater pond fishing – this involves rearing freshwater fish in ponds. The ponds can be natural or artificial. You can use fertilisers under instructions from experts to grow plants in the water for the fish to feed.
  2. Integrated fish farming – it is the practice of mixing fish rearing with other animals and crops. The most common crop farmers use in this system is rice, while the animals you can keep include ducks. They have a symbiotic relationship with the animals feeding on the plants and the fish consuming the animal waste.
  3. Brackish finfish culture – fish farmers use this method to rear saltwater fish for hotels and restaurants. It is a rare method since most Kenyans prefer to eat freshwater fish.
  4. Mariculture fish – this method involves fishing practices in marine environments.

Use of dam liners in fish farming in Kenya.

The introduction of dam liners has helped increase inland fish farming in Kenya. Dam liners are waterproof and ultraviolet-treated materials that help hold the pond water. The UV treatment helps ensure the liners don’t get damaged by the sun. Manufacturers make dam liners from either fresh raw materials or recycled materials. Liners made from recycled materials have low quality and can cause harm to your fish. You can check on several traits to ensure you pick high-quality liners. These characteristics include:

  1. The scent – dam liners made from recycled materials will have a pungent smell. In contrast, liners from virgin materials have no scent.
  2. Smoothness – high-quality liners should be smooth throughout, unlike low-quality liners that are rough due to air pockets in the material.
  3. Floating test – a high-quality liner tends to float when you place it on the water surface, whereas poor-quality liners will sink.

Determination of pond and dam liner size.

The size of the pond you want to construct will depend on the type of farming, available capital, and area. You will need a lot of money and vast space to build your pond for commercial agriculture. In contrast, small-scale farmers need little capital and small areas. Once you have determined your pond size, the next step is determining the size of the liner. You will need the maximum length, width and depth of your pond. At Eunidirp, we have a team of experts to help you determine the right size for your pond.

Eunidrip Irrigation System dam liners

Our dam liners come with widths of 5, 7 and 8m and lengths of up to 100m. If the required dam liner has a width of more than 8m, we will need to carry out welding to join two dam liners. We have experienced staff who can accurately determine your liner’s size and carry out the welding process avoiding leakage incidents. Interested clients can visit us at George Morara Road, Nakuru town or contact us on 0728163329.

 

DAM LINER SUPPLIERS IN KENYA

Eunidrip Irrigation Systems is amongst the best dam liner suppliers in Kenya. Our dam liners are high-quality liners made from virgin materials that many farmers opt to use.

•dam liners in Kenya

Applications of dam liners.

Dam liners are applicable in very many situations around your home. Some of these applications include:

  1. In fish farming – dam liners are waterproof materials that will help you avoid infiltration when carrying out inland fish farming. Liner use for fish farming is beneficial in areas with sandy soils.
  2. In water harvesting – water reservoirs are lined with dam liners to help retain the water.
  3. Water treatment – this is the process of treating wastewater using large tanks. Wastewater contains a lot of harmful substances that can pollute underground water sources when they seep into the soil. Dam liners prevent seepage in these systems.
  4. Water tank repairs – concrete water tanks are susceptible to cracks with time. The reasons that can cause cracking in water tanks are shifts in the soil beneath the tank and expansion and contraction of the tank. The development of cracks leads to leakages and bacteria growth in the gaps. Dam liners help in repairing cracks on the tank.
  5. Geothermal stations – these stations utilize steam as a working fluid. Dam liners help prevent leakages in the system.

Factors affecting the choice of dam liners.

Our dam liners come with 0.3, 0.5, 0.75, and 1 mm thicknesses. Selection of the wrong thickness from dam liner suppliers in Kenya can lead to tears and leakages. The factors to consider when selecting dam liners are:

  1. The nature of the soil – areas with a stony surface will need the 1mm dam liner, whereas regions with fine soils can use liners of 0.3 mm.
  2. The volume of water – the quantity of water that the liner will hold plays a significant role in determining the thickness. Large volumes of water will need thick dam liners to support the weight. Small volumes of water can use thinner liners.
  3. The expected lifetime of the dam liner – 1 mm dam liners tends to last longer than 0.3 mm liners.
  4. Economics – the thicker the liner, the more the costs. The available capital for the farmers will determine which dam liners they choose.

Advantages of dam liners.

  1. Dam liners are both corrosion and ultraviolet resistant.
  2. They are impervious, avoiding water infiltration.
  3. They are cost-effective for storing water compared to concrete tanks.
  4. Dam liners are easy to maintain and repair.

Cost of Eunidrip dam liners.

The available dam liners’ costs at our shop are as follows.

Dam liner prices in Kenya
Dam liner thickness  Discounted price per m2
0.5 mm (500 microns) Ksh. 230
0.75 mm (750 microns) Ksh. 340   Ksh. 230
1.0 mm (1000 microns) Ksh. 380   Ksh. 250

Interested customers can visit our shop at George Morara Road, Nakuru town. Those who aren’t near Nakuru can purchase our dam liners through our online shop. For any inquiries, you can contact us on 0728163329.

Pawpaw irrigation

PAWPAW IRRIGATION – EUNIDRIP

PAWPAW IRRIGATION – EUNIDRIP

 

Pawpaws are nutritious fruits rich in vitamins that do well in areas receiving an average rainfall of about 1000 mm per year. It is best to use irrigation to supplement the rainfall in areas with insufficient rainfall. The three methods you can use for pawpaw irrigation are rain hose irrigation, rain gun sprinklers, and button dripper irrigation. Pawpaw irrigation using a rain hose is very useful when the plants are in the nursery. The rain hose delivers the required amounts of water and nutrients to the young plants. The rain gun sprinkler is also an effective way of watering pawpaws. However, the rain gun sprinkler uses a lot of water, and you will need a pump to achieve the required water pressures. The addition of a pump means increased operating costs.

At Eunidrip, we advise farmers to use button dripper irrigation for their pawpaws. Fully grown pawpaws need an average of 4.5 liters of water in a week. Button drips can deliver water up to a rate of 60 litres per hour, making them suitable for pawpaw irrigation. Adjustable button drippers enable you to control the discharge to the plants. We sell button drippers at a cost of KES 25 per piece, and the drippers are easy to fit into the 16 mm HDPE pipe.

Components of a pawpaw button drip irrigation system.

  1. The mainline and submain line – the mainline transports water from the tank to the submain line. The diameter of the mainline is usually larger than the other pipes in the system. The submain line delivers water from the main pipe to the 16 mm HDPE pipe lateral.
  2. Button drips – the main types of button drips in our shop are the adjustable and non-adjustable button drips. These button drips come with thicknesses of 1 and 1.3 mm. The 1mm thick button drip is more suitable for temporary usage due to its short service life. The 1.3 mm thick button drippers can endure the harsh environment and tend to last longer.
  3. Filters – to remove particles that can potentially clog the button drips.
  4. Fittings and accessories.

Why choose button drip irrigation for your pawpaws.

The initial set-up cost of a button drip irrigation can be relatively high, and many farmers would ask themselves why they should spend all that money. At Eunidrip, we can assure you that with proper maintenance, your irrigation system will significantly increase your yields. Some of the other advantages you acquire when using this pawpaw irrigation method are;

  1. Button drip irrigation delivers water to the root zone, helping in controlling weeds.
  2. There is an efficient application of fertiliser and water, saving on costs.
  3. Button drip system uses gravity to deliver water, saving on operating costs.
  4. A button dripper internal design reduces the chances of clogging.

You can find us at George Morara Road, Nakuru town, or contact us on 0728163329. For our customers located far from Nakuru town, you can purchase the items through our online

ONION DRIP IRRIGATION KIT

ONION DRIP IRRIGATION KIT

Onion irrigation

Eunidrip Irrigation Systems is among the best suppliers of onion rip irrigation kit in the country. Onions are crops that are sensitive to the amount of water they receive. They have shallow roots that require constant and regulated amounts of water. Too much water will result in fungal diseases and rot, whereas too little water will cause a decrease in quality and onion size. Onions need about 2.4 cm of water once per week for optimum yields. Drip irrigation is the best way to apply water to the onions.

Components of onion drip irrigation kit

Onion rip irrigation kit components are:

  1. The pipe network – this piping network delivers water from the tank to the drip lines. The pipes can be PVC or HDPE pipes. HDPE pipes are more suitable for systems with pipes on the surface since they are UV-treated.
  2. Drip tapes – drip tapes have equally spaced emitters along their lengths. Onions use drip tapes having an emitter spacing of 20 cm. It would be best to use three drip lines per bed in onion growing.
  3. Water filters – filters help remove contaminants from the irrigation water. Emitters are sensitive to the quality of water and particles can cause them to clog. Water filters available for use in your irrigation unit are disc and screen filters. At Eunidrip, we have professional staff that can guide you when selecting your filter.
  4. Fittings and accessories – an onion drip irrigation kit uses fittings made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or high-density polyethene (HDPE). Our staff can guide you in selecting the accessories you will need. Some of the fittings you will need in such a system are couplings, elbows, tees, saddle clamps, adaptors, and end caps.
  5. 16 mm HDPE fittings – these fittings consist of 16mm tees, elbows, end caps, starter connectors, off-takes, and drip to drip connectors. You use them on connections involving the drip tape.
  6. Tank – the tank stores water for irrigation at a raised height. The base should be strong enough to support the weight of the tank. The size of the tank will depend on the area to be irrigated.
  7. Fertigation system – this arrangement composes of a tank, venturi injector, and some fittings. The main purpose of this system is to deliver diluted fertiliser to the main pipe of the drip system.

Advantages of using drip irrigation on your onions.

  1. There are reduced pumping costs since the system uses water efficiently.
  2. Improved crop health – the onions get the right amount of water and nutrients ensuring high quality and quantity yields.
  3. The labour costs incurred when hiring people to water your onions are reduced.
  4. Drip irrigation delivers water to the root zone of the onions helping in controlling weed growth.
  5. The fertigation system helps avoid the harmful effects of fertiliser overuse. Examples of the harmful effects are pollution of underground water sources, acidification of the soil, and toxic build-up of harmful metals in the soil.

At Eunidrip, we offer supply, design, and install full onion drip irrigation kits for our clients. Interested customers can make purchases through our online shop or our physical shop located at George Morara Road, Nakuru town.  In case of any inquiry, you can contact us on 0728163329.

 

RAIN HOSE IRRIGATION

RAIN HOSE IRRIGATION

RAIN HOSE IRRIGATION

Rain hose irrigation uses a flexible hose with small holes to deliver water to your crops. The pipe is UV treated making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Rain hose manufacturers use nano punching technology to make the holes on the pipe. The rain hose can emit water at a uniform rate at every pore. At Eunidrip Irrigation Systems, we have rain hoses with diameters of 32, 40, and 50 mm. Each rain hose irrigates in opposite direction at varying radii. The wetting radius of the 32, 40, and 50 mm rain hoses are 3, 5, and 7 meters respectively.

Rain hose irrigation is suitable for short crops or crops in nurseries. You should not use this irrigation method for crops prone to fungal infections when their leaves are exposed to water. Examples of such crops are lettuce, beans, chili, tomatoes, etc.

Some of the advantages of using this irrigation method are:

  1. This irrigation method is cheaper than other methods of overhead irrigation.
  2. They are easy to install and maintain.
  3. It requires less capital to start than drip irrigation.
  4. They can cover wide areas.

Components of a rain hose irrigation kit

The components of the rain hose irrigation kit are:

  1. Endcaps – to seal off the rain hose ends.
  2. Starter connectors – you use them to connect the rain hose to the main water line.
  3. Mini valves – you use them in place of starter connectors to connect the rain hose to the main water line.
  4. Pipe connectors – to join the rain hoses.

Rain hose irrigation layout procedure.

The first step is to lay down the main pipe from the pump or tank on the farm. In the next step, you make holes on the main pipe depending on the location you want your rain hose. The diameter of the hole should be guided by the size of starter connectors or mini valves. Place the starter connectors or mini valves on the holes and connect the rain hose to them. Use pipe connectors to join two rain hoses if need be. Finally, close off the rain hose ends with an endcap.

Rain hose pipe sizes and prices

At Eunidrip Irrigation Systems, we offer the best quality rain hose pipes for your farm. We pride ourselves on providing satisfactory services and high-quality products to clients. We sell rain hose irrigation components to farmers who would like to individually assemble the parts, but we recommend having an experienced professional set up the system for you. Our prices are customer and pocket-friendly, feel free to contact us on 0728163329.  The prices of available rain hose pipes in our shop are:

 

Rain hose size (mm) Wetting radius (m) Length (m) Cost per 100 m
32 3 100 KES. 3,700
40 5 100 KES. 4,700
50 7 100 KES. 5,700

Interested farmers can purchase our products at our shop located at George Morara Road, Nakuru town, or through our online shop. We make sure your products will arrive in the best condition for purchases made through our online shop.

 

 

 

EUNIDRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEMS BIRD NETS

Birds can be a nuisance to your crops on the farm, or in your home. Eunidrip irrigation systems bird nets are affordable and will help you control these pests. Our bird nets are capable of controlling up to 100% of the birds. 

Features of bird nets

anti-bird-net

Some of the features of bird nets include:

  1. They are ultraviolet treated assuring the farmer there will be no damage from the sun.
  2. They come either in green, black, or white. White bird nets help reflect away the sun’s radiation and also assist control insects on a small level. Green bird nets camouflage with the plants. 
  3. Our bird nets come in standard widths of 4 metres
  4. The holes in the nets are large. 

Factors to consider when selecting a bird net

There are two main factors you should consider when selecting a bird net. These are the size of birds you are keeping out, and the purpose of the net. Smaller birds will need bird nets with small holes. Always go for a small mesh bird net in case you are not sure of the bird species you are keeping out. Bird nets with large holes are more appropriate for areas with strong winds. 

Application of Eunidrip Irrigation Systems bird nets

Bird net use is not restricted on the farm alone. There are various places you can use them. Some of the applications of bird nets include;

  1. In fish ponds – Birds are natural predators of fish. It is best to cover your fishpond with a bird net to avoid predation. 
  2. On the farms – many birds prefer to feed on the fruits of most crops, e.g., strawberries, passion fruits, plums, etc. Install a bird net around your farm to prevent damage to your products on the farm.
  3. Greenhouse – you should place your bird net on the greenhouse sides to prevent bird entry. These greenhouses usually don’t have insect netting on the side. 
  4. Building protection – prevents birds from flying inside.
  5. Mining ponds – mining companies use chemicals to extract minerals from rocks. These chemicals are harmful to living organisms. You should use bird nets to prevent birds’ exposure to the chemicals. 

Benefits of Eunidrip Irrigation Systems bird nets

  1. Eunidrip irrigation systems bird nets offer a humane and effective way of controlling birds. 
  2. The bird net installation can be customised to meet your application area.
  3. Bird nets are ultraviolet treated guaranteeing you a service life longer than 3 years.
  4. It is a cost-effective way of controlling birds.
  5. These bird nets don’t block light from entering your building or greenhouse.

We have a professional team that can advise you on the appropriate bird net to use. You can purchase our bird nets from our shop located at George Morara Road, Nakuru town, or via our online shop. Our website is easy to navigate, and we can assure you your goods will be delivered on time. In case of any inquiry, you can contact us on 0728331629

STEEL GREENHOUSES – EUNIDRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

Greenhouses are structures that help farmers control the growing environment of the crops. These structures can either be made from wood, plastic, or steel. Eunidrip irrigation systems is a company renowned for its quality steel greenhouses. These greenhouses can be automated, increasing the efficiency of operations. Factors that you can control automatically inside the greenhouse include temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, water, pests, light, and nutrients.  

Greenhouse Steel Structures

Selection of the size and design of steel greenhouses.

Two major factors determine the size of the greenhouse you select, i.e., the space available and the cost. Large greenhouses will need more money than small greenhouses. The smallest greenhouse we can build measures 4 m by 5 m. The available steel greenhouse designs are saw tooth, gable, raised dome, flat arch, and tunnel. The designs vary depending on the outcomes you desire inside the greenhouse. Our staff can easily advise you on which design to use for your greenhouse. 

Why should you choose steel greenhouses over wood greenhouses?

The following are reasons why you should choose our steel greenhouses;

  1. Steel-framed greenhouses are not affected by rotting or termite attacks.
  2. Steel has high strength, meaning you can use smaller pieces than in wood greenhouses. 
  3. These greenhouses last for a long time.
  4. They are easy to maintain. 
  5. The steel frame uses small elements, reducing shade in the greenhouse.

Steel greenhouses materials

You will need the following material to build your steel greenhouses.

  1. Greenhouse covering – you should use greenhouse polythene since it is cheap and easy to repair. The greenhouse polythene can be clear or yellow-green.  
  2. Profiles and wires hold the greenhouse polythene tightly on the frame.
  3. Tapping screws – you need these to bolt the profiles to the steel frame. 
  4. Steel pipes – to form the frame of the entire greenhouse.
  5. Locks – to lock the greenhouse door.
  6. Concrete – for strengthening the greenhouse foundation.
  7. Insect net – to allow air into the greenhouse while keeping insects away.
  8. Drip irrigation kit – this kit supplies water to your crops. 

Cost of steel greenhouses

The cost of steel greenhouses depends on the size of the greenhouse. At Eunidrip, we design, supply, and install steel greenhouses at the following charges. 

Greenhouse construction costs
Size Steel greenhouses 
8 m × 15 m KES 200,000
8 m × 20 m KES 235,000
8 m × 24 m KES 255,000
8 m × 30 m KES 300,000
8 m × 40 m KES 480,000
8 m × 48 m KES 500,000
16 m × 24 m KES 500,000
16 m × 30 m KES 550,000
16 m × 40 m KES 890,000

These charges cater to the materials and labour of the whole structure. The charges also account for a drip irrigation kit. We have a professional staff that can advise and build steel greenhouses suitable for you. You can purchase items through our online shop or our physical shop located at George Morara Road, Nakuru town. Contact us on 0728331629 in case of any assistance.

TOMATO DRIP IRRIGATION BY EUNIDRIP

Tomatoes demand lots of water to achieve maximum yield, and drip irrigation is the best way to supply the required amounts. Eunidrip Irrigation Systems is among the leading tomato drip irrigation suppliers in the country. Our high-quality drip irrigation kit will help you deliver the appropriate amounts of water reducing wastage. The kit we offer also comes equipped with a fertigation unit, which will help you deliver the right quantity of nutrients to the plants. We have qualified technicians who can customise the irrigation layout depending on your farm. 

tomato drip irrigation

Components of tomato drip irrigation kit

Our tomato drip irrigation kit comes equipped with:

  1. 30 cm spacing dripline – tomatoes are normally spaced 30 cm from each other and this dripline is the best for the job. The size of the dripline will depend on your farm size.
  2. 16 mm HDPE fittings – these fittings include elbows, tees, end caps, starter connectors, drip to drip connectors, and rubbers. The number of pieces to purchase depend on the number of drip lines you have.
  3. HDPE pipes – the size of pipe to choose from depends on the size of the farm. Our HDPE pipes come in sizes of 16, 20, 25, 32, 40, 50, 63, and 90 mm.
  4. Water filter – you must use a filter together with your drip irrigation to avoid emitter clogging. You can use either disc or screen filters in your system. Disc filters are more appropriate for large water flows while screen filters are suitable for small to medium flows. The main pipe diameter determines the size of the filter you will need. 
  5. Water tank – You should install your water tank on the highest point of the farm and on a raised platform. This will help create enough pressure to deliver the water by gravity. The size of the water tank will depend on the size of the farm. 
  6. Fertigation system – a small water tank and a venturi injector make up the fertigation unit. 
  7. HDPE fittings – these fittings help in joining the pipes together on the farm. They include saddle clamps, tees, couplings, elbows, adaptors, and end caps. The size and number will depend on the design.

Why our drip irrigation kit is the best for your tomatoes.

Tomatoes are sensitive plants that need to be taken care of carefully to avoid losses in yields. Our tomato drip irrigation kit will help you secure your investment by reducing the errors in water and nutrient supply. Other advantages that you get when using trickle irrigation on your farm are:

  1. Improved health – your tomatoes will be protected from diseases caused by excessive water.
  2. Reduced pumping and fertilizer costs.
  3. A decrease in weed growth.
  4. There will be a decrease in the labour requirements. 
  5. Time-saving.

All interested clients can visit our shop located at George Morara Road, Nakuru town or contact us on 0728163329. We have catered to those who aren’t able to access our physical shop through our online shop. The website is user-friendly and our prices are always fair.

HOW TO GROW STRAWBERRIES IN A GREENHOUSE

HOW TO GROW STRAWBERRIES IN A GREENHOUSE

Strawberries are bright red, sweet, and juicy fruits grown for direct consumption or addition to other foods, e.g., pies. They are high-valuable crops grown for export or local markets.

Questions to ask your self before planting strawberries in a greenhouse ?

  1. Why should I grow my strawberries in a greenhouse?
  2. How to grow strawberries in a greenhouse?

Experienced strawberry farmers can effortlessly know the answer to these two questions, but it will be challenging for new farmers. This article aims at helping new farmers know about strawberry farming in greenhouses and where to acquire the necessary help.

Varieties of strawberries grown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The type of strawberry grown in Kenya is the day-neutral type. These strawberries produce fruits as long as there is light, meaning they are not affected by short and long days. Day-neutral strawberries go dormant during winter, and Kenya, being in the tropics, doesn’t experience winter. The lack of winter in the tropics means day-neutral strawberries can produce fruits throughout the year.

There are various varieties of day-neutral strawberries you can grow in Kenya. These types include;

  1. Chandler variety – these types of strawberries have high yields with big fruits. They take about 62 to 75 days to produce fruits with firm skin and quality flavour.
  2. Pajaro – they grow fast and produce fruits that are big and with good flavour.
  3. Fern – The fern variety is a high-volume variety with large light-coloured fruits.
  4. Selvia – these strawberries are small-sized compared to other types. They have good flavour and bright colours.
  5. Aiko – the fruits of the Aiko variety are large, long, and conical. They are pale red and are a bit sweet. The main advantage of this variety is its large harvest and resistance to transport.
  6. San Andreas – These strawberries produce fruits during the whole year. The plant is resistant to most common diseases and makes dark red fruits. To maintain high yields in the plants, you must cut the many runners. In Kenya, they are popular around Nyeri.
  7. Douglas – These plants mature very early and have clear foliage. The fruits produced are orange-red, with firm flesh, quality flavour, and long conical shape.

Environmental conditions for strawberry growth

Strawberries grow in areas having temperatures ranging from 200C to 300C. In regions having temperatures above 300C, flowering and fruit production will be significantly affected. The pH of the soil needs to be between 5.5 and 6.5. Soils with high pH will affect iron intake, reducing the final yields. Strawberries are reactive to salinity during transplanting. High levels of alkalinity in the ground will result in the plant leaves yellowing. You should check the salinity and alkalinity levels for optimum yields. Strawberries need areas with adequate amounts of water.

Factors to consider when growing strawberries

Factors to consider when growing strawberries in greenhouses include;

Water.

 

Strawberries require about 36 to 45 cm of water to cater to plants’ needs for the entire growing season. The plants have shallow roots meaning you have to apply adequate water due to evaporation. The best way to supply water to the strawberries is by using drip irrigation. Drip irrigation helps in water conservation by providing only the required quantities. Too much water will result in the spread of diseases, whereas too little water will lead to water stress, reducing the yields. The advantage of using drip irrigation is that the system can also supply nutrients in appropriate amounts to the plants.

Soil type

Strawberries do well in a variety of soils. The soils need to be deep, well-drained and have high organic matter. Clay soils are heavy soils with good water retention capabilities. However, using clay soils in strawberry farming is not advisable since there will be waterlogging that can spread diseases. Using coarse sandy soils will lead to high irrigation and fertiliser application expenses—the high-cost results from the high infiltration rates and infertility of sandy soils.

Surface drainage

It would be best to have good surface drainage to avoid water accumulating on the farm. Strawberries are sensitive to moisture, and a lot of water results in diseases and the death of the plants. In the case of strawberry farming in areas with poor infiltrating soils, it can help to raise the beds. The height of the bed should be a minimum of 15 cm.

The soil pH

Strawberries grow well in soils that are a bit acidic, having a pH of about 5.0 to 7.0. Before embarking on strawberry farming, you should first know the pH of the soil on your farm. Institutions such as Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) carry out soil tests and give you a complete soil analysis. The soil sample should be dry and have stayed long without fertiliser application. At times the researchers can ask you about the plant history on the farm. So, it is best to keep that in mind.

The soil analysis report shows a complete review of the composition of nutrients in the soil and the pH. Using this report, an agronomist can easily advise you on what fertilisers to use to ensure optimal soil growing conditions. You can correct too low pH in the earth using lime and high pH using green manure or acidic fertilizers.

Slope

These plants need a gentle slope to allow water to flow out of the farm area. At Eunidrip, we recommend a gradient of less than 10%. Growing strawberries on slopes of more than 10% will lead to erosion, with some plants being uprooted or even buried. The shallow roots of the strawberries make them very easy to remove from the ground. You can still grow strawberries on steep slopes if you have no choice. Your plants will be okay as long as you plant them in rows across the hill and have a wide row width.

Sunlight

Sunlight is an essential requirement for strawberry growth on farms. Strawberries need at least six hours of sunshine in a day for high yields. Whether growing your strawberries on the open field or in a greenhouse, you should ensure no large trees nearby can block the sun. Placing your strawberry farm away from trees also reduces water and nutrient competition. The sunlight also helps in giving the strawberries their deep red colour.

The strawberry variety

There are various varieties of strawberries available, with each variety having its pros and cons. Before engaging in strawberry farming, you should consult on the best variety to grow within the specified region. The variety you choose should also be certified to avoid diseases on the farm.

Other crops

It would be best if you do not plant strawberries in areas where certain types of plants have been grown in the previous four years, i.e., potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, eggplants, alfalfa, and beans. These soils contain diseases and pests that can attack your strawberries. It would help if you first fumigated the earth to kill the pests and disease agents using such soils.

Why choose to grow strawberries in greenhouses?

Many farmers know that the environment greatly affects the outcome of their crops. When growing crops on the farm, it can be difficult to control factors such as temperature and humidity. Strawberries are high-value crops, and you need to ensure maximum care to reap maximum rewards. The use of a greenhouse gives you more control of the growing environment of the strawberries. In a greenhouse, you can control the temperatures, humidity, water loss, quality of light and pests and diseases. It reduces the risks involved in farming. At Eunidrip, we deal with greenhouses and we can also teach you how to grow strawberries in a greenhouse.

Strawberry farming and practices

Some of the strawberry farming practices done in the greenhouse include:

Propagation

Propagation refers to ways in which new strawberry plants are formed. You can propagate strawberries using three methods. These methods are;

  1. Plant division – this is achieved using the crown of the strawberry. The crown is a short and thick part of the strawberry that emerges from the soil. It is usually a few millimetres long and contains a lot of roots. The crown emerges naturally, or you can induce it by pruning. This method is labour intensive and requires technical skills. If you don’t do it carefully, you can risk killing the parent plant.
  2. Seed propagation – seed propagation involves planting strawberry seeds. It would be best if you did not use the seeds from a purchased strawberry because low-quality plants will emerge. The low-quality plants are a result of crossbreeding. You will need to purchase certified seeds from agro-vets to propagate using seeds. Certified seeds reduce the risk of disease spread and ensure high-quality plants.
  3. Propagation by runners – runners are stolons that protrude from the strawberry stem. They grow in various directions, and when the nodes touch nutritious soils, new roots start to develop at that point. As the roots develop and the plant anchors itself properly on the soil, you can cut the runner separating the new plant from the parent plant. Propagation by runners produces an identical plant to the parent plant. This method is the easiest method of propagation than the others.

Planting

Before planting the strawberries, you should add adequate organic matter to the soil. If crops such as tomatoes and potatoes were grown before, you fumigate the soil before planting anything. You can plant strawberries either on raised beds or flatbeds. The two planting systems used for flatbeds are hill rows or matted rows. The matted system involves planting the strawberries 60 cm apart in a row and 120 cm between the rows and allowing the runners to spread and grow within the rows. This method produces a lot of fruits even though they are of poor quality.

The hill row system involves the removal of runners from the planted strawberries. This ensures the parent crop receives adequate nutrients and can produce large fruits of high quality. The strawberries in hill row systems sprout multiple crowns increasing the number of fruits produced. Plant spacing in the hill row system is 30 cm between the plants and 60 cm between the rows.

The growing point of strawberries is near the soil surface. Placing the plants too deep can result in the rotting of the crown. It would help if you irrigated the plants after immediately planting to avoid killing off the new plants.

Mulching

You can mulch strawberries using organic mulch or plastic mulch. Organic mulch involves using plant materials like straws, leaves, cut grass, etc. The use of organic mulch requires frequent replenishment as it decomposes with time. At Eunidrip, we recommend using plastic mulch in your greenhouse, especially for long-term use. The combination of plastic mulch and drip irrigation in greenhouse strawberry farming ensures minimal water use and optimum growing conditions for your plants. The advantages of using plastic mulch are;

  1. Controlled weed growth
  2. Reduced water losses by evaporation
  3. Increased crop yields
  4. Reduced soil erosion
  5. Improved crop health
  6. Soil temperature control

Pest and disease management

Pest and diseases are the major causes of poor-quality strawberries. Examples of pests affecting strawberries are aphids, birds, crown borers, cutworms, slugs and snails, wireworms, spider mites, and tarnished plant bugs. The common diseases affecting strawberries include powdery mildew, Leathery rot, red root rot, grey mould, fungal leaf spots, and blossom-end rots.

Pollination

Strawberries achieve pollination by using wind, animals, or hand pollination. When carrying out greenhouse strawberry farming, it is best to place a hive near the greenhouse to permit pollination by bees. This method is much more effective than hand pollination. Some of the benefits of strawberry pollination include:

  1. There is an increase in yields.
  2. Cross-pollination reduces deformations in the plants.
  3. Pollination by bees results in more appealing fruits.
  4. Strawberries from plants that have undergone cross-pollination are much larger than those which self-pollinate.

Protection

Strawberries need protection from rainfall, slugs, and birds. Birds love the sweet taste of the fruits, whereas the slugs enjoy feeding on the strawberry leaves. Growing your strawberries in the greenhouse helps control these three problems. Rainfall causes the leaves on the plants to drop. In the case of field farming, you can use bird nets and copper ribbons to protect against birds and snails, respectively.

Strawberry greenhouse automation

Greenhouse automation is useful when it comes to commercial strawberry farming. In an automatic greenhouse, you can control the temperature, humidity, water, nutrients, carbon dioxide, and pests.

Temperature control

Temperature control inside a strawberry greenhouse is achievable using thermometers to detect the temperature changes in the greenhouse. A computing system then controls the temperature using a heating or cooling system within the set range. It would be best to keep the temperature between 200C and 300C when farming strawberries. Plastic mulch helps control the soil temperature.

Water control

When farming strawberries, you use drip irrigation in the greenhouse to ensure an efficient water supply to the plants. Automatic greenhouses use timers to control the amount of water supplied to the plants. The timers can be mechanical, electronic or hybrid. Using timers, you can set when to start the irrigation and stop after how long. Sensors can help in more accurate control of the amount of water supplied. The sensors can detect the amount of water in the soil and initiate irrigation when the water levels fall below the set threshold.

Humidity control

The Humidity refers to the amount of water vapour in the greenhouse environment. Humidity affects the rate of water loss in the plants. High humidity levels, especially at night, will result in gaseous water condensing on the greenhouse material and dropping to the ground as water droplets. Strawberries are very water-sensitive, and these droplets can result in the development of diseases. In automated greenhouses, you achieve humidity control using the ventilation, humidifying and dehumidifying systems. Sensors detect humidity levels in the greenhouse, and when they go beyond the set values, either of the three systems is activated.

Nutrient control

Strawberries prefer slightly acidic soils. Excessive use of fertilisers can result in the pH of the soil going up above 7.0 or below 5.0 depending on the type of fertiliser. Other effects of excessive use of fertilisers include leaching of nutrients, pollution of water sources, chemical burning of crops and mineral depletion in the soil. In strawberry greenhouse farming, you can achieve controlled fertiliser application using a fertigation system. The fertigation system is an arrangement that enables diluted fertiliser to be delivered to the plants using irrigation. Sensors in the soil monitor the substrate quantities in the soil in automated greenhouses. The sensor alerts the computer when the substrate quantities go below the set quantity. The computer, in turn, activates the fertigation system, which delivers the diluted nutrients to the plants.

Pest control

Strawberries are fruits that have a high value. They are mostly grown for export and need to comply with the phytosanitary requirements of the exporting country. Pest control in a greenhouse is much easier than in the field. Insect nets help prevent insects from entering the greenhouse. Pesticide application inside the greenhouse is also much more effective than field application. Pest control in automated greenhouses uses cameras to detect the presence of pests or signs of pest infestation. When they are detected, you are alerted, and you can proceed with the necessary measures.

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is an important gas that helps plants in photosynthesis and development. To improve the yield of strawberries, you can add a carbon dioxide system in the greenhouse. You can use sensors to measure the carbon dioxide levels in the greenhouse and alert the computer when to add more gas. Burning fossil fuels and using liquid carbon dioxide are the two main ways of adding carbon dioxide to your greenhouse. Burning fossil fuels is a cheap method of the two, but you risk damaging your plants. Liquid carbon dioxide is expensive but the safest method.

What are the advantages of growing strawberries in greenhouses?

The following are the advantages of growing strawberries in a greenhouse:

  1. Pest and disease control
  2. Efficient water usage
  3. Reduced labour costs
  4. High quantity and quality yields
  5. Plant protection against the elements like the wind.
  6. Reduces the risks of farming.

Eunidrip Irrigation Systems as a greenhouse designer, supplier and installer.

We are a reputable greenhouse equipment supplier in Kenya. We design, supply and carry out the installation of greenhouses all over Kenya. Also, we have a professional team available to answer your questions concerning strawberry greenhouses: What type of materials to use? Which row arrangement should I use? Which type of irrigation can I use? How to grow strawberries in a greenhouse?

Apart from greenhouse construction, we also deal with all irrigation equipment supply and installation, shade house construction, borehole drilling, water harvesting structures and dam lining.

Why choose Eunidrip Irrigation Systems.

We are amongst the major irrigation and equipment suppliers in the country. Our product line keeps evolving with time, ensuring we offer the best solutions to the farmers. We have well-established clients, and we can transport equipment anywhere within the country. We strive to ensure we continue providing high-quality services, and value our customers’ feedback. Our website is easy to navigate, and you can select the necessary equipment you need.

Our prices are customer-friendly, and you can also contact us on 0728163329 or visit our shop at George Morara Road, Nakuru town.

100-ACRE IRRIGATION DESIGN

pump

Irrigation is the best way to ensure continuous food production with an ever-increasing population. However, when designing large irrigation schemes like a 100-acre irrigation design, we must take a lot of care when deciding the components to use to avoid risks of failure. Irrigation schemes of this size can use one type of irrigation method or two or more methods depending on the crops grown.

Water uses for different crops

Plants need water for growth and cooling purposes. It is essential to know the water use, why plants use water, and the factors affecting water use in irrigation. By knowing this, you can be able to avoid over-irrigation and under-irrigation. Crop water use entails two processes, i.e., evaporation and transpiration. The two processes are customarily combined and referred to as evapotranspiration. Transpiration is water loss through the leaves’ stomata, whereas evaporation is water loss through the wet soil or plant leaves’ surface. Plants extract water from the soil using the roots.

Evaporation occurs in the upper soil surface (depths of 3 cm to 5 cm). The evaporation rate is high during the initial stage of crop development, but as the crop grows, the canopy increases, offering shade to the soil surface. The shade helps reduce the evaporation rate in the mid and late stages of crop development.

Uses of water in plants

Plants use water for the following purposes;

  • To cool the plant by transpiration.
  • Photosynthesis – it is a process by which plants make food.
  • Transport of nutrients and organic matter.
  • Germination
  • Support system – plants achieve this by helping the plants’ cells remain turgid.

Crop water use determination

We determine crop water use by measuring changes in the soil water content with respect to time. However, the methods involved are tedious, expensive, and time-consuming. We use the crop coefficient and the reference evapotranspiration to quickly determine crops’ water use. The crop coefficient depends on the crop grown and the growth stage of the crops planted. Reference evapotranspiration refers to water use based on the prevailing weather conditions in an area. For instance, Crop water use is an important element when determining the water requirements in a 100-acre irrigation design.

Factors affecting the evapotranspiration rates

The following factors affect the rate of water use in an area;

  1. Solar radiation – stomata are sensitive to solar radiation. The amount of radiation affects how wide the stomata open, affecting water loss through transpiration. Solar radiation also affects evaporation rates. The higher the solar radiation, the more the evaporation rates
  2. Air temperature – plants use transpiration to cool the plant. Increased air temperature means high transpiration rates.
  3. Plant species – different plants have varying growth periods and water uses.
  4. Growth stage of plants – a fully matured plant will need more water than a recently planted crop. There are three growth stages of plants, i.e., initial stage, mid-stage, and late stage. At the initial stage, the water demand is low, and water loss is mainly through evaporation. In the mid-season stage, the water demand increases because of the flowering and fruiting of the crops. In the late stage, water demand depends on the desired plant conditions during harvesting. If you want fresh produce, the water demand remains the same as the mid-stage. For dry harvested produce, we reduce the water application to achieve that.
  5. Wind – the presence of the wind increases the evapotranspiration rate. The wind removes moisture from the air creating room for more moisture.
  6. Relative humidity – when there is high humidity, the rate of evapotranspiration is low. The water loss rate is increased when the humidity is low.
  7. Degree of surface cover – evaporation is mainly through the soil surface. A high degree of surface cover implies that the evaporation rate will be reduced.


pump

The pump house

 

The pump house in a 100-acre irrigation design refers to a building built to hold the components of the pumping unit. It is used to protect the pump from external conditions such as freezing. There are two primary water sources, i.e., surface water and groundwater. Surface water refers to water that collects on the ground or in streams, lakes, rivers, oceans, and reservoirs. The surface water is used to replenish the groundwater. Groundwater is water that collects in the spaces between rocks and soil. Groundwater is usually of high quality, but it is best to measure the amounts of iron and manganese in the water. Measurement of these elements is done since they can block drippers or sprinkler nozzles when the concentration in water is high.

Components of a pumping system in a 100-acre irrigation design

The pumping system in a 100-acre irrigation design composes of the following components;

  1. The pump – the function of the pump is to transfer water for irrigation from one point to another.
  2. Prime mover – the prime mover is the source of power for the pump. It can be electric motors, diesel/petrol engines, or an air system.
  3. Piping – to convey the irrigation water into and out of the pump system.
  4. Valves – control the flow of water into the piping network.
  5. End-use equipment – refers to the component that uses pumping power. It can be a heating system, sprinklers, drip emitters, etc.

Pump power sources

The type of power source to choose for your pump depends on the availability and accessibility of the power source. However, power sources for water pumps are electricity, diesel/ petrol, and solar power. Electricity is best used for areas with reliable electricity supply. In addition, advantages of using electricity are reduced labor costs, and the system has high efficiency.

We use diesel/ petrol-powered generators for areas with no or unreliable electricity supply. Solar-powered pumps save on energy costs. Their power depends on solar radiation, and the initial cost of installing the system is high. By installing batteries, you can save the power available during the day and use it to run the pump when the solar radiation is low or at night.

The pump

The function of the pump in a 100-acre irrigation design is to push water through the system. It is essential to know the different components of a pump. This knowledge is advantageous when it comes to replacing worn-out or damaged parts. The members of a pump are;

  1. Casing – the casing is the outer shell of the pump. Its principal function is to protect the inner components from external conditions. The material used to make the housing should be firm and resistant to harsh external conditions.
  2. Impeller – consists of a rotating disc connected to a shaft with a set of vanes. The disc rotates, creating the energy required to induce flow in the system
  3. Motor – this component is the power source of the pump. It can be alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) powered, fuel, hydraulic, solar, or steam powered.
  4. Shaft – the shaft connects the impeller to the motor. It transmits the power to the impeller creating the necessary force to induce flow.
  5. Volute – it is the inner casing that contains the impeller. It collects and discharges the irrigation water.
  6. Bearing assemble – offer mechanical support allowing continuous impeller rotation.
  7. Hub – the hub forms a connecting part for the engine.
  8. Seal – the seal protects the bearing assembly from the irrigation water.

Types of pumps

There are various types of pumps available in the market. The choice of type of pump depends on the use, power source, and the power of the pump. For a 100-acre irrigation design, you will need to use a powerful pump to achieve the necessary flow rates. Types of pumps available in the market include;

  1. Floating pumps – they are submersible or turbine pumps attached to a float. The pump hangs beneath the float, and the pump delivers water through a pipe connecting to it.
  2. Booster pumps – manufacturers build these pumps primarily for improving water pressure in the system.
  3. Turbine pumps – consists of a centrifugal pump mounted underwater and connected to a motor on the surface. These pumps are excellent and efficient for use in large schemes.
  4. Submersible pumps – submersible pumps are placed at the bottom of the water source. Unlike turbine pumps, the pump and motor are part of a single unit.
  5. End suction centrifugal pumps – they are widespread in the market. Manufacturers mount the pump at the end of a motor and it requires priming before the first use. The pump has an advantage in portability since it is easy to carry.
  6. Centrifugal pumps – these pumps use an impeller to create the necessary force to push the water up the system. They need priming before the first use.
  7. Displacement pumps move water through displacement. Examples of these pumps are rotary and piston pumps.

Factors to consider when selecting a pump for a 100-acre irrigation design.

The wrong choice of a pump in a 100-acre irrigation design can have profound financial implications. Purchase of a low-performance pump will mean the water supply to the plants won’t be enough resulting in yield losses. A high-performance pump will mean more pumping costs. The factors to consider before purchasing a pump for irrigation are;

  1. The pump discharge – discharge refers to the amount of water the pump supplies.
  2. The pressure – refers to the internal energy of water due to pressure on the pipe walls.
  3. Suction head – it refers to the distance a pump can suck water from a water source.
  4. Friction head – friction head is the loss in water pressure resulting from friction between the flowing water and the pipe walls. Irrigation pipes’ length, diameter, surface smoothness, and material affect the friction head in an irrigation system.

Estimated flow rate across a 100-acre irrigation scheme

To estimate the flow rate across a 100-acre irrigation design, we firstly determine the crop water requirements. Precisely, the crop water requirements vary depending on the species, growth stage, and environmental conditions. Crops grown in hot areas will need more water than those in cool regions. Water demand is usually expressed in terms of depth. To get the total volume of water required per day we multiply the total area by the crop water demand. Assuming the crop water demand is 6mm/ day, the volume of water plants need in a day is.

Volume of water plants need in a day (100-acre) =  × 400,000 m2

                                                                                                          = 2400 m3/ day

Assuming 20 hours of irrigation in a day, then the daily volume of water we need is;

Flow rate per hour =  = 120 m3/hour.

Using drip irrigation in this area with a flow rate of 2 liters per hour and spacing of 0.2 m by 0.6 m on the laterals, we can obtain the application rate.

Water application rate =

You can get the application time by dividing the crop water demand by the application rate, i.e.,

Application time =  = 0.375 hrs/ 22.5 minutes

If the field is irrigated as one whole field, then the discharge we need will be;

Estimated flow for the whole field=  = 6400 m3/ hr

To get the number of shifts that you can use, you divide the crop water requirements with the application time.

Number of shifts =  = 16 shifts

If we divide the plot into 16 plots, each irrigated in one shift, then the area and discharge of each shift are;

Area per shift =  = 6.25 acres

Discharge per shift = 6.25 × 4,000 m2 ×  = 150 m3.

To get the flow rate per shift, we divide the discharge per shift by the application time.

Estimated Flow per shift =  400 m3/ hr

Estimated irrigation hours for a 100-acre irrigation design

To get the actual irrigation hours you will need for a 100-acre irrigation design using the above requirements, we use the number of shifts and application time.

Estimated irrigation hours = the number of shifts × application time.

= 16 shifts × 0.375 hrs

= 6 hours

Use of automation for cost efficiency

We automate irrigation systems to ensure efficient water and nutrient supply to the plants. The system carries out irrigation operations with no or minimal human intervention. Automatic systems use sensors, timers, or computers to control the water and nutrient flow in the system. The system uses sensors to determine the right time to apply fertilizer and water to the plants. The sensors send the information to the computer, which decides when to irrigate depending on the data. Irrigation timers are the brain of an automatic irrigation system. Timers can be mechanical, electronic, or hybrid.

Automatic irrigation systems reduce the labor cost on a farm. The computer decides when to irrigate and supply nutrients depending on the data collected. This reduces the labor needed to operate the farm. The system releases water to the plants in the right quantities reducing water wastage. Efficient water use means less water pumping. This helps reduce the pumping costs. The system also controls the fertilizer application, reducing wastage and saving on costs.

The incorporation of a pest detection system helps detect the presence of pests early on. Control of the pests early on is much easier and cost-effective. An automatic system helps increase the quantity and quality of yield. The risk of losses is reduced significantly, ensuring farmers get returns on their investment. The use of automation in 100-acre irrigation design is necessary to help reduce production costs.

Size of filtration unit for 100-acre irrigation design

Filtration is the removal of suspended contaminants from irrigation water to avoid blocking the system. Water quality determines the filtration requirements, chemical injection, and management of the filtration system. The filtration system blocks three main groups of contaminants, i.e., biological, chemical, and physical contaminants. Biological pollutants include algae. Chemical contaminants include scale or precipitates, while physical contaminants include grit or suspended soil particles. To determine the filtration system, water emitters, and maintenance programs in a 100-acre irrigation design, you should conduct a water analysis.

The types of filters available for irrigation systems are;

  1. Media filters – media filters use sand and gravel to remove contaminants. We use them in surface water sources, especially in wastewater treatment. They are more suitable for the removal of organic compounds. Backwashing cleans the media filters.
  2. Disc filters – these filters contain a series of flexible, grooved discs stacked together. The screen size ranges from 40 to 400 mesh and is best suited for high flow rates. They are capable of cleaning physical and biological contaminants. Although when cleaning organic pollutants, they clog faster than when removing sand particles. They utilize little water when backwashing than other filters.
  3. Screen filters – they use a flexible or rigid wire woven screen to separate contaminants from water. Depending on the size of the filter, washing can either be done manually or by backwashing. We use screen filters when the amount of contaminants is little to average.
  4. Hydro-cyclone sand separators – these centrifugal filters separate water according to the difference in densities. They are helpful when separating large particles, i.e., 50 microns or larger, from irrigation water. The filter contains a sand collector at the bottom, which is easy to open and clean. Irrigation water filtration using this filter can be made more efficient by combining its use with screen or disc filters.

Filtration variables in a 100-acre irrigation design.

Several variables affect the type of filtration system to use. Some of these factors are;

  1. The flow rate – the irrigation system’s water flow rate will determine the cartridge’s size and the size of the filter inlet and outlet. The pipe sizing mostly determines the size of the inlet and outlet.
  2. Differential pressure – this refers to the difference in water pressure between the inlet and outlet of the filter. We consider the housing and cartridge differential pressures for irrigation systems sensitive to pressure drops.
  3. Location – the space available for the filter will determine the size of the filter.
  4. Viscosity – this factor determines how water flows in the filter and the pressure the system needs to push the water through the filter. High viscosity means high pressures to push irrigation water through the filter. The downside to this is that the increased pressures can force some of the contaminants through the filter.
  5. Contaminants – Different filtration systems have their advantages when it comes to filtering out various contaminants. Disc filters are suitable for high volumes of water while media filters are more suitable for filtering organic contaminants.

Determination of filter size for a 100-acre irrigation scheme.

The filter for use in a 100-acre irrigation design should be able to filter out contaminants from the water without any problems. The factors to consider when selecting the size of filter to use are the inlet and outlet dimensions, the pressure rating, the type of filter, and the mesh size. The mainline pipe diameter determines the size of the filter to use. This filter already has the requirements to meet the flow from the diameter of such a pipe. The area is large; hence you will need large pipes to handle the pressures and volumes of water. We recommend the use of disc filters when the discharge is high.

Automatic fertigation system

Fertigation is the injection of fertilizers, amendments, or other water-soluble products into an irrigation system. Automatic fertigation systems deliver just the right amounts of water and fertilizer at the root zone of the crops. The system uses sensors in the soil to detect soil moisture levels and substrate quantities. When the substrate quantity in the ground is low, a signal is sent to the computer, which supplies current to the solenoid valveMoreover, the solenoid valve enables the mixing of dissolved fertilizer with the irrigation water. Since solenoid valves are fast, the efficiency of the automatic fertigation system is high. The solenoid valves to use in this system are three-way solenoid valves.

The advantages of using automatic fertigation systems in 100-acre irrigation design are;

  1. High yields – use of sensors and timers ensures the plants get the required quantities of water and fertilizer, increasing the yields.
  2. The system is convenient – the farmer must not be present to activate the system. It is done automatically, and monitoring the system through the phone or computer is possible.
  3. Smart irrigation timers and sensors enable some systems to vary the amount of fertilizer application throughout the growing period depending on the demand.
  4. Optimization of fertilizer application – sensors monitor the substrate quantity in soil and alert the computer when the level goes low. The computer then allows fertilizer application.
  5. Cost -saving on production – an efficient fertilizer supply reduces wastage, reducing the amount of fertilizer you use.
  6. Reduced nutrient leaching – the system only supplies the required quantities of fertilizer to the plants. This reduces the leaching of nutrients into the soil.
  7. Automated fertigation systems provide the farmer with the fertilizer use data enabling the farmer to make well-informed decisions concerning fertilizer application.

Soil health in relation to the automatic application of fertilizer

Continuous planting and harvesting of crops gradually decrease the nutrients available in the soil. To ensure continuous high yields, farmers use either fertilizers or natural decomposition to replenish the soil nutrients. Fertilizer application is a preferred way of replenishing nutrients since it is fast-acting and a farmer can add specific nutrients depending on the deficit. Fertilizers help ensure adequate food supply in the world. However, overuse of chemical fertilizers has serious consequences on soil, animals, plants, and human health. The increasing population poses a threat to food security; hence the need to improve agricultural production. One way of doing this is by using automatic fertigation systems. Not only does it ensure plants get adequate nutrients, but it also protects the environment from the harmful effects of fertilizer overuse.

 Some of the harmful effects prevented by the use of automatic fertigation systems are;

  1. Increased soil acidity – an increase in soil acidity reduces the crop intake of phosphate, raises the concentration of harmful ions, and inhibits crop growth.
  2. Humus content reduction – a loss in humus content reduces the ability of the soil to store nutrients.
  3. Over-application of nitrogen fertilizers for long periods kills the balance between the three macro-nutrients. These nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The loss in nutrient balance will result in reduced yields.
  4. Toxic build-up of heavy metals in the soil – continuous overuse of certain fertilizers can result in tox metal build-up. These toxic metals are uranium, cadmium, and arsenic. The heavy metals pollute the soil and they can accumulate in the fruits, grains, and vegetables. When we consume these products, serious health issues can arise.
  5. Pollution of water sources – overuse of fertilizers will result in washing away of excess fertilizer by leaching or runoff. The water will direct the fertilizer to underground water sources or surface water sources. Fertilizer presence in water sources results in excessive growth of algae which use up oxygen in the water when they respire and decompose. An increase in the number of algae reduces the oxygen available in the water leading to the deaths of fish.

The use of automatic fertigation helps prevent all the problems mentioned above. Lastly, this system ensures plants get fertilizer in the right quantities and time avoiding overuse. It helps ensure proper soil health conditions while increasing the yields.

The pressure rating on mainline and subsequent laterals in a 100-acre irrigation design.

Irrigation pipes deliver water through the entire irrigation system. They make up a large portion of an irrigation system, making their selection very crucial to the operation of the scheme. In a 100-acre irrigation design, the pipes should be able to withstand the maximum operating pressures and convey water without excessive pressure loss or gain. You should ensure proper connection at pipe joints to avoid pressure loss through leakages. The selection of mainline pipes is dependent on economics, friction loss, and flushing concerns. During flushing, the piping network should be able to withstand the flushing velocities. Flushing velocities are usually about 0.3 m/second.

The prices of pipes available at Eunidrip irrigation systems are;

Irrigation pipe prices
Pipe diameterCost per meter
16mmKES. 27
25 mmKES. 45
32 mmKES. 70
40 mmKES. 90

Pressure rating recommendations on laterals.

The pressure at the laterals will differ depending on the irrigation method. Drip irrigation and subsurface irrigation usually have low water pressures at the laterals. Sprinkler irrigation and center pivot irrigation experience high water pressures at the laterals.

The recommended size of lateral pipes for drip irrigation
Length of lateralsLateral flow rate
 2 L/hr4 L/hr8 L/hr
40 m -50 m12 mm12mm12 mm
40 m -70 m12mm12 mm16 mm
60 m -80 m12 mm12 mm16 mm
80 m -120 m12 mm16 mm20 mm
90 m – 120 m12 mm16 mm20 mm

Irrigation methods applicable in a 100-acre irrigation design

Irrigation is the artificial application of controlled amounts of water to assist in crop production or grow landscape plants. It is one of the methods preferred nowadays to increase food production. The advantages that arise from using irrigation in crop production are;

  • Increased quality and quantity of yields.
  • Soil erosion prevention.
  • Improved crop health.
  • Optimization of fertilizer usage.
  • Inhibits weeds growth.
  • Eliminates water deficiency.
  • Acts as a shield against famine.

There are various irrigation methods available that are applicable in a 100-acre irrigation design. The major irrigation methods available are; surface, sub-surface, drip, sprinkler, and center pivot irrigation. At Eunidrip Irrigation Systems, we supply and install all irrigation types available. We have qualified and well-trained staff and you can be assured of high-quality work.

Surface irrigation

Surface irrigation involves the application of large volumes of water by the force of gravity over a farm. Types of surface irrigation methods you can use are basin, furrow, and border irrigation. We use surface irrigation methods in soils with poor infiltration rates, i.e., clay soils only. There is some earth movement involved when building bunds or trenches to control the water flow in the areas. Water flows into the irrigation area and is controlled by the use of gates or pipes. The use of surface irrigation methods is mostly applicable where there are large volumes of water and the available soils are clayey. The methods are relatively cheap to install, but they do not conserve water and a lot of it is lost to the atmosphere.

Sub-surface irrigation

Sub-surface irrigation is a method that delivers water directly into the soil layers. It can be either natural or artificial. People cannot control natural sub-surface irrigation since it involves water seeping from underground water, lakes, streams, or rivers into the soil. It is a cheap method but it is not possible to control the amount of water supplied to the plants. Artificial sub-surface irrigation involves the supply of water to the plant root zone by the use of pipes underneath the soil. The main advantage of this system is that you eliminate water losses through evaporation. We normally use this method in areas with hot climates or areas where there are inadequate amounts of water. Problems encountered when using this method are possible leakages in the pipes due to rodents or heavy machinery. This method is feasible in a 100-acre irrigation design since it conserves moisture reducing water pumping costs.

Drip irrigation

This method is the best for irrigation in terms of water conservation. We can apply it in a 100-acre irrigation design depending on the crops. Drip irrigation involves the supply of controlled amounts of water at the root zone of the plant. Emitters deliver the water to the plants at an average rate of two liters per hour. The emitters are sensitive to blockages; hence you will need to filter the water before entering it into the piping system. When it comes to designing the 100-acre farm, the layout of the pipes depends on the topography and shape of the farm. The basic rules are, that you should place the mainline along the slope and laterals across the slope. The use of this method has many advantages such as increased yields, controlled weed growth, reduced soil erosion, reduced labor costs, efficient use of fertilizers, and control of pests and diseases.

The initial costs of installing this system are high, however, the savings done on production costs afterward are worth it. At Eunidrip Irrigation Systems, our installation cost of drip irrigation per acre varies depending on the number of driplines per bed.

Drip irrigation cost per acre
Number of driplines per bedCost
2KES. 165,000
3KES. 180,000

Sprinkler irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation makes use of sprinkler nozzles to distribute water in the form of artificial rain. The sprinklers can apply a uniform amount of water over a large area depending on the type of sprinkler. When using this system, earth movement is not necessary. You should use a filter to remove contaminants that can block the sprinkler nozzles. The choice of this method in a 100-acre irrigation design depends on the crops grown, the weather conditions dominant in the region, the type of soil, and available funds. precisely, You cannot use sprinkler irrigation to grow water-sensitive plants like beans and tomatoes. This is because these plants tend to get sick when exposed to too much water on their leaves. The climatic conditions of an area affect the efficiency of water application using sprinklers. In windy areas, there is a non-uniform application of water on the farm.

Sprinkler irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation is most suitable for areas with sandy soils. This is because the water will infiltrate more quickly reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation. Sprinklers need pumps to achieve the high pressures necessary to distribute water. The introduction of pumps means increased production costs in irrigation. Despite the pumping costs, this method is very efficient depending on the usage. Its use can assure you of high returns. However, to ensure the long life of sprinkler irrigation, you should follow the necessary maintenance practices. At Eunidrip irrigation systems, we can help you know where to use sprinkler irrigation, and supply and install the whole system at affordable prices. The cost of installing a sprinkler irrigation system on a one-acre farm starts from KES. 150,000.

 

center pivot irrigation systems

Center pivot irrigation

Center pivot irrigation uses sprinklers or a series of sprinklers that rotate about a pivot. These systems are fully automated and the system covers a large area. Water application varies along the length of the pipeline with more water being applied at the end of the pipeline than near the pivot. Some more advanced systems use GIS and GPS to map out the area and distribute water according to the demand in each area. The use of this irrigation system demands large vast areas making it suitable for use in a 100-acre irrigation design.

Crops that you can grow using this method are sugarcane, orchards, maize, potatoes, small grains, alfalfa, and vegetable crops. The major factor that affects the choice of this system is the cost. Center pivot irrigation has a high starting and operational cost. Truly, this limits its use to commercial farmers only. Before deciding on using center pivot irrigation, you should ensure you have enough information to reduce risks. Eunidrip irrigation systems have experienced staff who can advise you on center pivot irrigation, helping you secure your investment. Pivot irrigations are large irrigation projects that require large areas starting from 100 acres. The cost of installation of center-pivot irrigation ranges from KES. 3,000,000 to KES. 10,000,000 depending on the area and equipment.

Eunidrip Irrigation systems’ role in the design, supply, and project implementation.

Eunidrip irrigation systems is amongst the leading irrigation companies in Kenya. We deal in irrigation, greenhouse design and construction, borehole drilling, shade net structure development, and plastic mulch supply. We also offer products as well as consultation services to ensure our clients get customized solutions to their needs.

In irrigation, we design, supply, and install all types of irrigation systems. We deal with various sizes of projects from a quarter an acre to 100-acre irrigation designs. We offer customer-friendly prices for all our products. Our customers can access us through our online shop or our physical store located at George Morara Road, Nakuru town. You can also contact us through our telephone lines or via WhatsApp in case of any inquiries.