Clogging cause – root intrusion

Root intrusion is a risk to be managed, in particular for buried systems.

It occurs when the plants do not have enough water and the roots seek out water – which they find in the laterals, and specifically the emitter.

The two most common forms of root intrusion are caused by:

• under irrigation (insufficient irrigation scheduling)
• partially clogged emitters (due to other causes), which causes under irrigation
and therefore insufficient irrigation.

Prevention is better than cure for root intrusion. Much better …

  • The easiest – install the drip lateral on the surface where there are no roots. Of course, this is not always possible, but for some crops (e.g. celery, which has aggressive roots), this is the easiest solution.

  • Ensure the plant has enough water to meet its evapotranspiration needs (i.e. conduct an irrigation regime that avoids plant moisture stress). This is easy for crops where you want maximum vegetation, but when you need to deliberately stress the plant during ripening, it is a challenge and other preventative measures need to be considered.

  • Herbicide injection into the drip lines is an option, but it depends on local regulations and other considerations for your crop.

  • Conduct sufficient flushing and chemical treatments of the drip irrigation system.

  • Rivulis D5000 CX uses copper that helps reduce root intrusion into the dripper.



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