The request was to design, supply and construct heated sand beds for the propagation of plants. The particular crop benefits from the implementation of bottom heat in the propagation stage, therefore we designed a system of pipes to circulate the heated water around the beds to apply the correct temperature with full automatic control. The water is heated by a commercial boiler although in the future an air source heat pump or solar panels could be installed.
- The existing stone base was stripped of Mypex and timber for disease reduction
- Tanalised timber frames 150mm high, supported by steel rods, were installed to contain the sand
- 50mm polystyrene insulation sheets with drainage holes laid in the bottom
- 16mm PE heating pipes, connected to a header manifold, and spaced at 30cm apart
- A plastic mesh was overlaid on the heating pipes to ensure they remain buried
- 100mm sand up to board height
- A drip irrigation system was laid on the top of the bed to allow under crop irrigation. This will leave the crop canopy dry whilst keeping the sand moist to ensure uniform heat dissipation.
In addition to the sand beds, we were asked to install a misting system for cooling/humidification over the crop. This consisted of foggers spaced at 2m x 1m and 1.2 m above the crop. The misting system is controlled by an evaposensor controller which will monitor the in-crop environment and trigger the misting at the set point. The controller can be used to wean the crop once rooting is advanced enough.
When you are selecting which dripper to use what are the criteria that you use? Price? Who the salesman is? Historical practice? Well consider the NDJ Click Tif dripper. As the advertisement states the Click Tif gives up to 40% better irrigation performance! Often in the UK the closing pressure of a dripper can determine whether a system works or not. Fortunately the NDJ Click dripper offers the 40% advantage over other popular drippers. Not many growers use this measure but it works out as probably one of the most important and influential measures UK growers show use.
You know when you have an issue. The drippers instead of being CNL – non leakage – they just keep on dripping, emptying the lateral line so that when it comes to the next sequence, the line has to fill again. Of course the dripping drippers drip on every on/off of the valve. How many hundreds of times is that a season? Either way you end up with non uniform irrigation.
Next time you are buying drippers, think about this NDJ 40% advantage.
The importance of drip and sprinkler irrigation systems today is greater than it ever has been. We are demanding more and more from our crops and we therefore have to demand equally from our irrigation. Often though, in the rigours of day to day farming it is easy to assume uniformity of irrigation. But when you come to test, properly and scientifically, it is surprising how much variation farmers accept as normal. The reasons for the variation can be various – dripper quality and suitability, age of the system, dirt, overall system design even operator decisions – but knowing what is happening in your substrate or field has to be a priority.
Aquaplast as experienced irrigation designers understand the issues and sympathise with the many calls on farmers time. That’s why we created the irrigation challenge! The routine is simple. We book a convenient time, borrow one of your staff for half a day and set up various experiments and measuring strategies which will eventually produce a spreadsheet conclusion of the average output in ml compared to the theoretical and then the variation across various predetermined areas, + and – when compared to the actual output average.
We have a sort of traffic light system where 0-5% variation is good and expected (you would hope for 3% on a new system). Anywhere between 5-10% we have an amber light and over 10% is a red light. Needs investigation or replacement.
Please contact the team for more details and to make your appointment to ‘Challenge your Irrigation’!
We are pleased to confirm our new warehouse in Warrington and are at the moment, designing the offices and warehouse with additional office space and a various new shelving areas and a new mezzanine. It’s tough to predict the products that we move 6 months in advance, however, we have as you know, many years’ experience in this process so we hope to get close.
As ever, relying on your key suppliers is one of the reason why you choose a particular manufacturer and certainly with NDJ, we have a partner who works with us to ensure we offer the very best delivery timescales. With our usual UK-Israel route being supplemented by the production unit in Spain and the stock and warehouse in France.
It’s always tough to second guess what your customers want, but it makes sense to let us know as far in advance as possible and work with us on a specific item to ensure we can manage the process so your goods land on-site on time. Ordering in advance with a specific delivery date has to take the steam out of hitting supply dates. We have already started taking orders for Jan/Feb 2017 with hundreds of thousands of meters of PC dripline in both AS and CNL configurations, plus almost two million dripper sets on order with delivery dates confirmed. This system also gives an early confirmation of price and gives a stability which is much appreciated by all parties.
The moral of the story? Try and order your requirements in plenty of time.
Managing the fluctuations in the £ exchange rate with the € and the $ can be a challenge. Trying to maintain a steady pricing level I believe is key so we work with our suppliers to maintain stability and allow our customers to take advantage of that. Keep an eye out for our specials where even in the atmosphere of increasing prices we have managed to secure a deal to lower the cost of irrigation.
I think most people were surprised by the recent EU Referendum and irrespective of your view point, the new landscape is looking different and unknown. It is clear that the normal commercial pre-requesites of managing costs may well be prove to be even more critical than ever. This is one of the reasons why Ripple Aquaplast have decided to publish all our products via the web and not in printed format. Whilst it is great to have steady pricing, if we negotiate a better deal with our suppliers, we want to pass this on to our customers. This is much easier to do with a web based price list. Keep an eye on our special offers.
Constantly updated with new products and new prices.