We are excited to announce that we kicked off our first strawberry field test with Harry’s Berries in Oxnard, California this month! Our goal is to define the best practices using subsurface irrigation on each row of berries. The test will produce other measurable factors such as yield comparison, water use comparison, and data collection on water capillary/plume profile in both width and hight. Future research will focus on weed prevention by avoiding weed seed germination.
Strawberries are a high value crop in California. In 2015 the state had a total of 40,500 acres in production. Currently 223 pounds of drip tape are used per acre annual for strawberries. Most of this drip tape ends up in landfills after each season. The success in this project will give farmers an option to displace 9 million pounds annual of drip tape across the state.
Economic cost per acre: $497.00 annual to replace drip tape each season, 20 million dollars statewide.
The aquifer pipe has a life expectancy of 85 years if permanently place inground; 15 years when installed & deinstalled after each season.