Press echoes DeepDrop® success in olive groves

  • Transcription of the Sur Newspaper Article published on 02/01/2024

Deep Drop achieves water savings of 84% in olive farms in Andalusia and increases sales by 120%.

“Drought and climate change are keeping irrigated crops in check in the province and in many other parts of the world. For this reason, the implementation of more efficient irrigation systems has become one of the major challenges for the primary sector in Malaga. In this area, the Torroxeña company Deep Drop, which since 2017 has been marketing a subway system that achieves savings of up to 70%, has burst onto the scene.

This technology has proven to be an instrument for saving large amounts of water and drastically reducing the water stress of trees and plants. And not only in traditional irrigated crops, but also in olive farms, where irrigation is increasingly being introduced. Thus, the owners or managers of olive farms have been able to observe it after only a few months of use. In addition, it is the only subway irrigation system that makes it possible to check from the surface and with the naked eye whether or not the water is actually reaching the root system of the trees.

“This year we have witnessed a rise in olive oil prices like we have not seen for a long time. The explanation is multifactorial, but no one is unaware that drought and high temperatures due to climate change have had a lot to do with it. Both for olive trees and for other crops. It has happened in Andalusia, La Rioja, Catalonia, Extremadura, as well as other autonomous communities”, explained Creacciona FCG, the firm that has patented the invention developed by Antonio Rico from Torrox together with his son Ernesto.

In this way, the Deep Drop irrigation system allows farmers to use much less water and thus rationalize the little water they have available in these times of extreme drought. In addition, the ability of this system to deliver water to the root system of the trees means that water stress is drastically reduced and the fruits do not suffer as much from the ravages of drought.

Experience in four farms

The Torroxeña firm has shared the experiences of four olive farms in Andalusia to illustrate “the success” of the implementation of Deep Drop in olive crops. Thus, at Finca Martilla in Granada, Pepe manages a farm of 250 15-year-old olive trees of the hojiblanca variety. The soil of this farm is clayey. The farmer is part of the San Lorenzo de Zagra cooperative, which produces Castillo de Zahara extra virgin olive oil. When he installed Deep Drop on his farm, he placed three drippers per olive tree, following the technical advice of the Torrox company, that is, respecting the same points that he had previously placed with surface irrigation. The difference is that with them he went from watering for two and a half hours every day with eight-liter-per-hour drippers to watering with four-liter-per-hour drippers. In other words, it has reduced its water consumption by half. The results could be seen in less than three months, according to the efficient irrigation firm.

Andrés has four hectares of table olives of the manzanilla variety on an organic farm in Seville. It has 1,000 olive trees and last year introduced Deep Drop in one of its plots with 333 olive trees. The soil type is sandy. Before installing the drippers, I had installed in-line drippers of two liters per hour per meter, with which I watered five hours a day. With the new installation of subway and localized irrigation, a single Deep Drop per tree has been installed, watering only one hour per day. With this change, Andres has gone from irrigating these 333 olive trees with 3,000 liters per day to 1,300 liters, which has resulted in a savings of 56.7%.
“Customers are usually recommended to test the system on a plot of land. We understand that since it is such a simple technological innovation, it is sometimes difficult to believe in its results. So did Andrés and with these water savings and seeing the health of his trees he plans to expand the use of Deep Drop in the rest of his olive trees,” the Torrox company added.”

You can read the rest of experiences in olive groves here.

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