Micro-spray irrigation technology

Low-pressure Micro-spray Tape in Banana Cultivation

Spray irrigation technology is an advanced method for effectively regulating crop moisture worldwide. Well-established irrigation facilities are crucial in modern orchard management to ensure high and stable yields. Bananas are sensitive to both waterlogging and drought, thriving in moist conditions.

To promote banana growth, enhance mechanized farming practices, and improve yield and quality, a five-year trial and promotion have demonstrated the efficacy of low-pressure micro-spray technology. This practical technique is favored by banana farmers due to its low investment, ease of operation, quick results, and significant benefits.

1. System Components

The entire system comprises power control, water source engineering, low-pressure delivery pipelines, and micro-spray belts. Power control includes components like electric motors (or diesel engines), water pumps, and filters. Water source engineering involves infrastructure construction for obtaining clean, pathogen-free water, such as reservoirs, filtration pools, and wells.

Clean river or well water with neutral pH, low impurities, and low salinity is required to prevent pipeline clogging. Low-pressure delivery pipelines consist mainly of mainlines, sub-mainlines, control switches, with commonly used 6-inch and 4-inch pipes arranged from larger to smaller. Micro-spray hoses, typically black rubber hoses with three or five outlets, complete the system.

2. Design Scale and Production Costs

Installation, use, and operation of micro-spray irrigation equipment in banana orchards are straightforward. Apart from technical requirements during installation, operation and usage are manageable for most banana growers. Whenever water is needed in the orchard, the pumping system can be easily activated for irrigation.

Maintenance and relocation of equipment are also easy to grasp, making it a user-friendly technology. The design scale and production costs have an inverse relationship, with larger scales resulting in lower costs. An ideal banana orchard size for this system is around 50 mu (about 3.33 hectares), with the entire equipment’s production cost ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 yuan. The cost per mu is approximately 200 to 300 yuan, with an annual cost per mu of 70 to 100 yuan. Thus, the technology requires minimal equipment investment.

3. Application Effects

  1. Effect of Irrigation on Banana Growth: Low-pressure micro-spray irrigation effectively regulates water supply to bananas and soil moisture in the field. According to surveys, it can reduce orchard temperature by 1 to 1.5°C and increase relative humidity by 5% to 15% in summer, effectively enhancing drought resistance in dry seasons and cold resistance in winter. Experimental results show that micro-spray irrigation creates a favorable growth environment, accelerating banana growth and shortening the reproductive period by 10 to 25 days compared to the control group.
  2. Effect of Irrigation on Yield and Quality: Low-pressure micro-spray irrigation significantly improves banana yield and quality. According to surveys conducted in Yang Jingtian’s orchard, after irrigation, each banana plant can retain an extra comb of fruits, resulting in an increase of 315 kilograms per mu, with a notable improvement in fruit quality, increasing the proportion of top-grade bananas by 14%.
  3. Analysis of Application Benefits: According to a survey of 300 mu of banana orchards in Panyu Dongchong Town using low-pressure micro-spray irrigation, the additional annual facility amortization and water pumping expenses per mu are 92 yuan, but this method reduces labor intensity and labor expenses for watering by 48 yuan per mu. After irrigation, the yield increases by 315 kilograms per mu, the output value increases by 468 yuan per mu, and the income increases by 376 yuan per mu. The input-output ratio is approximately 1:4, and it can improve fertilizer utilization, reduce fertilizer loss, and maintain stable and high yields of bananas.

4. Conclusion and Discussion

Application of this technology can shorten the banana reproductive period by 10 to 25 days, maintaining stable yields while increasing yield and quality by 300 to 350 kilograms per mu, with an increase in income of about 400 yuan per mu, demonstrating significant economic benefits. With the rising prices of labor and increasing market demand for high-quality bananas, the technology’s importance and application prospects are expected to grow further.