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Figure 1. A fertigation installation with necessary hardware


Irrigation pipe line


Flow meter


Vacuum relief valve Check valve


Injection and automatic check valve


Agitator (if dry fertilizer is used)


Chemical discharge line


Electric conduit


Injection pump


Injector Locations


There are three basic locations fo njec ors upstream of filters, downstream of filters e all three


and in field. Some growers use all thre locations.


Upstream of Filters nt or


rs


This location for fertilizer applica on enables any contaminants or prerecipiitatestates to be caught in the filte be or en r ng the field. The injection system should be interconnected with the filter backflush controller so that the ffer il z


applicatiion n s


temporarily halted during backflushing. If backflushing occurs too often, usually pre-filtration is needed to remov


the fil er back ertiliizer injjec in


oo of


contaminant loads and/or the bacthe backflus adjustments need adjustmen . Anothe


remove large ent. Another


large ush ns cipit


err before enteriin hould b sh


ng


ection sn iis usu ly


orr iinjectors: off fi


opt on is to re One do


fillterrs iis po f


Automatic low pressure cutoff


Electric motor and pump


Irrigation pump panel


Automatic low pressure drain


Injection tank


Drain line Panel for


injector pump and agitator


Filter prior to injector pump


Connections for fresh water hose to flush out chemicals


Chemical flow meter Injection hose


In


option is to recycle the ba after r re


n b eliminate emoving co tamna ng contaminan s.


One downside of inject ng fi e s


can be eliminated by one or all of the following, depending upon the situation:


possible cor osion g, epending p


• Ensure filt no


gene


Ensure filterters hars hav noncorrros


generally non bet


t allll che th


the pip befo e


ave exc one or all of the


n upo the situation excellent


xcellent


• Spoon-feed fertilizers rather than applying them in larrge, occasional ed do


n ncorrosive int nal liningsng . Sp on


osive internal linings


applyingy n them in large, occas o al dosages. Spoon-fed dosages are generally noncorrosive and are also better for plant nutrition.


Spoon--ffeed fe tilizers rathe dosagsages. Spoon-ffe


• •


Inject acids downstream of the filters. Inject all chemicals into the middle of


better for planant nutrition In In


njject ac dsciid downstrea njject


h mica s in fore ente ing the filt amof the pe so that they can e filters te s.


the pipe so that they can be well mixed before entering the filters.


alls nto the middiddle of a be wel


ellmixed


her than casiona


ha osage are ges


ncorrrosive and are als n.


so Charles M


CharlesM. Burt, PE PhD, WD, D..WRE, CA S CAIS,, CID, CID, is the chairmanthe chairman


t, PE,,


off the Irrigation Train ng and


d Research C


engineering department of California Polytechnic State University in San LuisLuisObiispo.. I IT of t e Irrigat


eng


and bioresour e a gineering depar m Polytechn c State s


and of thehf TRC was the winner


Irrigatioion Association’s 2016 Pa n


Partner of the Year Award. irrigationtoday.org 21


of the Irrigation Training and Res


ch Center d bioresource and agricultural


le the backflus wa aminants.


de of injectiing upstrea blle corrrrosion proble


ackflush wateaterr g upstream of of n prrob ems. T es oblems. These


Control panels electrically interlocked


Downstream of Filters This is the recommended location for acids.


In Field


Some fields of vegetables or permanent crops are divided into many small blocks of different ages, maturity or varieties. In such drip irrigated fields, a central injection system is generally used to apply compounds such as acids, gypsum, chlorine and sometimes a base level of nitrogen. However, each block will have varying fertilizer needs depending upon the stage of growth and variety. An injection port is generally provided at each block valve, and a portable tank and injection pump is used to fertigate. In some cases, the irrigators are provided with a list of irrigation hours and fertilizer amounts for each block. Irrigators must be specially trained in procedures to prevent contamination of the system while connecting hoses. It is very easy to int


introduce dirt into the irrigation system with


with this configuration. co


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