Last year the trees were dormant

When we visited Antonio Jiménez, a farmer, at his farm to discuss how the new subway drip system he had installed was working, in the middle of the conversation he said: “last year the trees were dormant”. This phrase, as descriptive as it is poetic, had a strong impact on us.

After 6 months of installing the DeepDrop® subway irrigation system in his mango and avocado farm in Velez-Malaga, not only had he saved 50% of the water compared to the traditional drip irrigation he had previously installed, but his trees seemed to have woken up again, with a greenery that prevailed even in spite of the aphid plague that attacks through the leaves of the trees and not from the roots.

In the Balearic Islands, farmer Carlos from Port d’Andratx (Mallorca), sent us some before and after pictures of the DeepDrop® irrigation system installed on his avocado trees.

The images show the flowering of one of them. The image on the left shows one of his trees just at the moment he put in his new drippers, on August 3, and the image on the right shows the same tree 3 months later, on October 13. Carlos tells us that he is very happy because, after the strong heat of 2022, with this system he has seen his tree grow half a meter.

Let’s see another example where the DeepDrop® subway irrigation system has been implemented, in this case, for olive groves installed this August. It is a farm of 500 olive trees located in the municipality of Alameda (Malaga).

The farmer tells us that since he has introduced this system for his trees, the olives no longer come out wrinkled,
the olives no longer come out wrinkled
and the leaves look better. Thus, both the fruit and the leaves of trees that receive water directly to the root, the tree seems to be grateful for it in a very short time.

Another example of an olive grove, in this case for a super-intensive farm, can be found in Badajoz. When Juan contacted us in August, he specifically asked if the DeepDrop® irrigation system worked for irrigating very hard water with a high magnesium content.

As we usually do for farmers who are not yet familiar with the system, we advise them to do a test on a sector of their farm to check the results themselves. As of September 29, he sent us the following photos of the trees on which he tested the DeepDrop® System. Juan has decided to increase the number of trees with this system because the result has been worth it.

To Gonzalo Cabrera from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, we sent the DeepDrop® System subway irrigation drippers on August 10. He used them to incorporate them into the garden of his house. Here are some of the photographs
which he sent us on September 29, in this case from a lemon tree and a loquat tree.

Gonzalo tells us that he is very happy with the results since he has gone from consuming 71 m3 before installing the DeepDrop® System to 37 m3, once it was installed, as it appears in his water bills that he pays every two months. Gonzalo has seen a 52% reduction in water consumption thanks to this simple irrigation technology.

The agricultural area is not easy to manage in a country that has been suffering for years from meteorological drought but also from hydrological and agricultural drought.
hydrological and agricultural drought
. It is not only explained by the drought, although it may be one of the factors, but the fact is that rural depopulation is such an incontestable fact that the Ministry of Ecological Transition itself added “and the Demographic Challenge” to its title.

Agriculture is largely unknown in Spain, probably because the most populated areas are the cities. And in cities, people are disconnected from nature. The agricultural fields are far from the majority of the urban population, despite the fact that they are also the ones who feed them. In Spain, agriculture accounts for
2.4% of Spain’s GDP.
. It may not seem like much, but within the EU it is the fifth largest grower. In addition, the agricultural sector provides us with food and other necessities, but also takes care of a large area that would otherwise be neglected. The abandonment of agricultural fields is related to changes in vegetative dynamics, with the occupation of forests and scrubland that are not always maintained and that favor fires, the abandonment of villages or with spaces that could potentially be converted into uncontrolled landfillsSpain has already been sanctioned by the EU for this.

City dwellers, far from the problems of the people and the significance of the primary sector, are not aware of the great difficulties this sector is going through, in addition to the drought. After long periods of drought, for example, and more with the effects of climate change, after suffering a hard drought and all that it entails, suddenly, they can have a big flood and lose in a few hours the entire harvest of an entire season. On the other hand, there are large price differences between the starting prices of farmers (especially if they are small or medium-sized crops), with respect to the final price paid by consumers, which does not push farmers to encourage their children to stay in the fields because they feel they are rewarded by a price system that penalizes them.

But when a farmer, with a big smile, shows you a tree and says “Last year these trees were dormant” and shows you all green and has been able to optimize 50% of their water availability, then you see reason for hope.

The hope of being able to reduce the consumption of a scarce commodity by optimizing what is available and creating more stable moisture layers under the soil. And this is important because with climate change, hydrological drought is likely to increase due to atmospheric demand for evaporation and evapotranspiration.

Thus, having alternatives that allow for greater rationalization of water use
rationalization of water use
can help to face one of the great challenges of the agricultural sector. Better water management can also improve soil quality. We are therefore talking about more than just optimizing water resources, which is no small thing, we are also talking about regenerative agriculture.

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