A locally developed irrigation system designed to transport water directly to plants’ roots and thus eliminate evaporation has achieved outstanding success in trials.
Designed specifically for South African conditions, the NOVAP Sub-Surface Water Diffuser facilitates deep root irrigation and supplies water directly to a plant’s root system. As no water is exposed to the soil surface, moisture loss through evaporation is dramatically reduced.
Ferdinand de Klerk, NOVAP’s brand manager, says the system was developed and patented in Cape Town by Jan Nortjé, an inventor who strives to provide practical solutions to specific problems. “His insight into technical challenges has led to the registration of various international inventions,” says De Klerk.
Development started in 2013, and the irrigation system was launched in April 2017. Trials have shown water-use reduction of as much as 70%. In a Western Cape trial on 1ha of table grapes, a total water saving of 56,8% and a yield improvement of 31,5% were recorded after the change from micro irrigation to deep root irrigation.
The NOVAP system is suitable for any type of tree or shrub, including roses and other perennial scrubs with root systems deeper than 150mm. Fruit trees, vineyards, as well as nuts and date trees respond particularly well to this type of irrigation, according to De Klerk.
WATER TABLE AT ROOT LEVEL
The system consists of a compact plastic unit installed at the optimal depth for specific crops, typically 250mm. It supplies water and liquid fertiliser at a steady rate for maximum uptake, and artificially creates an underground water table at root level.
Depending on the soil type, a hydrated bulb with a radius of up to 600mm is formed 1,2m deep. The capillary movement of water allows the moisture to rise 120mm to 150mm above the system.
(Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow sideways and even upwards in narrow spaces without the assistance of external forces.)
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
A zero-emissions wine grape harvest for Italian vineyard
Italian wine producer Fontanafredda and engine manufacturer FPT Industrial are partnering to produce one of the first zero-carbon-footprint wine grape harvests in the world.
KNOW YOUR CATTLE TYPES
Bos indicus, B. taurus or Sanga cattle: which do you choose? Dr Michiel Scholtz and Prof Japie van der Westhuizen spoke to Glenneis Kriel about these breeds.
‘Choose good-quality Beefmaster bulls for heavier weaners'
Hal Budler, who runs the Budler Beefmaster stud in the Eastern Cape, says that breeding with top-quality bulls is the most effective way to improve weaning weights. He also strictly selects for maternal traits to produce adaptable and hardy Beefmasters.
It's time to plan for winter
Before we know it, winter will be upon us. Make sure you are properly prepared to help your crops withstand the first frost, says Bill Kerr.
Getting a silage maize crop into the bunker chop-chop
In terms of its cost-benefit ratio, silage maize is arguably the best-value stored green feed for milk production systems in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. However, to maximize the nutritional quality and quantity of this crop, it is important to harvest and handle it at the correct time and in the correct way. Lloyd Phillips reports.
Understanding thermal imaging
This non-invasive diagnostic tool can identify ‘hotspots’ that are linked to unsoundness, says Dr Mac.
Succession planning: get expert help and understand your options
Even if succession seems straightforward, as when passing on operations to a single heir, several steps are needed to facilitate the transfer of the farm from one generation to the next, says Trevor Dickinson.
A true escape to the countryside
Brian Berkman recently explored the dell in the Overberg that time forgot. Here he discovered warm hospitality, surprising luxury and spectacular scenery on a working protea farm.
A strategy for bush encroachment control
When sweet thorn competes with grazing plants for light and water, it starts to suppress grass production. It is therefore important to implement control measures to manage this encroachment. Dr Louis du Pisani, an independent agricultural consultant, discusses some of the factors that should inform a farmer’s bush encroachment management strategy.
A proven recipe for a successful family agri-processing business
When Ina Lessing started her home-made jams and preserves business 25 years ago, she had no idea that she would one day be supplying outlets across South Africa. Yvonne Fontyn reports.
TIGER WOODS CRASH: HOW IT HAPPENED!
Why he wasn’t charged! What an eyewitness saw!
‘HOME IMPROVEMENT' KID COPS TO 2 CHARGES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
FORMER “Home Improvement” kid Zachery Ty Bryan has pleaded guilty to two felony counts of domestic violence.
BIDEN FACES STEEP CHALLENGES TO REACH RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS
President Joe Biden wants to change the way the U.S. uses energy by expanding renewables, but he will need to navigate a host of challenges — including the coronavirus pandemic and restoring hundreds of thousands of lost jobs — to get it done.
Pompeo: No more Dr. McDreamy!
WILL PARAMOUNT+ BE A MOUNTAIN OR A MOLEHILL IN STREAMING?
Paramount+ debuts Thursday as the latest — and last — streaming option from a major media company, this time from ViacomCBS. It’s betting that consumers are willing to add yet another paid streaming service in an increasingly crowded field.
SPENDTHRIFT HABITS CHIP AWAY AT JOANNA!
Gaineses’ losses pile up as reno gurus leak money
COUNTRIES URGE DRUG COMPANIES TO SHARE VACCINE KNOW-HOW
In an industrial neighborhood on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s largest city lies a factory with gleaming new equipment imported from Germany, its immaculate hallways lined with hermetically sealed rooms. It is operating at just a quarter of its capacity.
HURRICANE KANYE DROWNING IN DESPAIR!
Fears that without Kim he’s spiraling down
GOOGLE ENDS SALE OF ADS USING INDIVIDUAL WEB TRACKING DATA
Google says it won’t develop new ways to follow individual users across the internet after it phases out existing ad-tracking technology from its Chrome browser, a change that could shake up the online advertising industry.
HARRY & MEGHAN'S $500M ROYAL GAMBLE
Throwing queen under bus to nab fancy future deals