Tomato grower Blake Harlan talks up the benefits of drip irrigation in “Water Wise,” the latest in a series of videos from California Grown.
The state’s drought is among a variety of topics in the series.
“This appears to be setting the stage for the most significant drought event that I’ve faced in my lifetime,” Harlan, a Yolo County grower, said in the video, which also appears on the California Department of Food and Agriculture blog, Planting Seeds. “Prior to this year, the early 1990s were the only (time) that I had ever experienced where we got no surface deliveries from our local water source.”
Yield is down 10% on his 2,200 acres, but quality is good and the installation of drip tape 10 to 12 inches underground gets much of the credit, Harlan said in the video. Compared to the above-ground tapes used on some crops, this is a semi-permanent installation he expects to last as long as five years or more.
The water savings amount to 25% or 270,000 gallons per acre annually, according to the video.
The Buy California Marketing Agreement manages the California Grown campaign.