Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE94-041.
The economic findings is substantial. The total cost of the trough sub-irrigation system was $4,855.85. The savings from labor and fertilizer was $1457. In 3.3 years this savings would make up for the cost of the irrigation system. In our growing facility we only grow one crop a year. If a grower did a second crop rotation, the savings would be realized even sooner.
Results from this trial has solved a major drain on capital such as labor costs. It also stopped the runoff of contaminated water into our valuable fresh water supply. This trail opened up the possibility of watering other greenhouse crops in a similar way, such as bedding plants in 1020 trays and other larger potted crop productions. We are currently experimenting with New Guinea Impatiens grown in 4.5″ pots.
We will continue to use the trough irrigation system. This watering system saved on the amount of labor needed, provided uniform watering and produced a better quality product. For the next growing season, find tuning on spacing will be worked on, so all plants will have plenty of room to grow into a quality product.