Gamtoos Irrigation Board News

Water management

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Optimale waterbestuur die sleutel tot ‘n boer se toekoms


Optimale gebruik van ons watergebruikers se jaarlikse waterkwota word daagliks meer belangrik. Daar is verskeie maniere om hierdie optimale verbruik te verseker.

Erika Ferreira, media beampte vir die Besproeiingsraad, het by mnr Wouter Vermaak, ‘n kundige in optimale waterbestuur gaan kersopsteek oor hierdie belangrike saak.

Maak nie saak hoe lank al jy met besproeiing te doen het nie, jy kan nie van bo die grond ‘n korrekte besluit oor vogbeheer maak nie. Jy moet meet!

So sê Wouter Vermaak, besproeiingskonsultant, oor die sogenaamde vogmeetinstrumente of "probes” wat boere in staat stel om uurliks inligting op hul rekenaar te ontvang om beter vogbeheer toe te pas.

"Dit haal die raaiwerk uit besproeiing. Die vogmeter is soos ‘n ekstraal onder die grond. Die vogmeter het verskillende sensors op verskillende dieptes. Dit word in die mees verteenwoordigende grond geplaas om dan baie effektiewer te besproei. Die tendens sonder vogmeters is om te nat te maak. Deur die vog akkurater te toets, spaar die boer tot helfte die water wat hy gewoond is om te gebruik. ”

Wouter wat al vir meer as 38 jaar in die gif en kunsmis bedryf is, sê hy het agtergekom dat die meeste probleme met korrekte besproeiing en dus genoeg suurstof reggestel kan word.

"Die suurstof in die grond is die belangrikste. Die regte hoeveelheid water en goeie dreinering stel die suurstof in die grond reg, en dit lei dan tot wortelgroei. As jy die tegnologie reg gebruik, spaar jy water en energie en verbeter jou oes. Die deursnee boer wil optimaal produseer en die vogmeters is die beste hulpmiddel vir enige boerdery, van tonnels tot weiding. Dit is eenvoudig en aanpasbaar.”

Hy sê dit hang van die boer se begroting, ligging van boorde, en grondsoort af hoeveel vogmeters hy sal nodig hê. Elke maand word die vogmeters nagegaan om die boer in voeling met die grond en rekenaar te bring.

Dawson Ferreira, sitrusboer van Andrieskraal buite Patensie, wat onlangs na die vogmeter-stelsel oorgeskakel het, sê hy is baie opgewonde oor die nuwe stelsel. "Ek kan nou enige plek op my rekenaar my besproeiing dophou en beheer. By sommige plekke gaan ek tot 60% minder water gebruik,” sê hy.

Volgens hom is dit ‘n maklike en eenvoudige sisteem. "Voor die vogmeters, moes ons weekliks profielgate van 30-50cm in die grond tussen die bome grawe om te kyk hoe vogtig die bo-grond en ondergrond is. Ons het dan daarvolgens die ure wat elke blok besproei moet word maar geskat. Dit is nie altyd effektief nie en baie tydrowend. Nou hoef ek net een keer per maand profielgate te grawe.”

Wouter sê waterbesparing is van uiterste belang en voorsien dat daar ‘n akute tekort gaan wees in die toekoms. "Met die tegnologie kan jy dubbel soveel besproei. Oppervlakte krimp en die populasie groei”.


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Optimal water management, the key to our farmers' future


The optimal use of the farmer’s yearly allocation becomes more and more important. There are various ways in achieving this.

Erika Ferreira, media liaison officer for the Irrigation Board has spoken to Mr Wouter Vermaak, an expert on optimal water use by farmers, to find out more about how to use irrigation water more effectively.

No matter how experienced you are in irrigation, there is no way you can make a correct decision on moisture control without knowing the situation underground.

Wouter Vermaak, irrigation consultant, says the so called "probes” are a very helpful technology to farmers. It gives them hourly information on how to control the moisture in the ground.

"It takes the guesswork out of irrigation. The probe is similar to an x-ray under the ground. The moisture meter has different sensors on different depths. The probes are put in the most representative soil to source the best information. Without the probes farmers tend to give too much water. The probes allow you make a more accurate decision and saves up to half as much water.”

Wouter, who has been in the fertilizer and pest control industry for more than 38 years, says he realised that most of the problems can be prevented by better irrigation and enough oxygen in the soil.

"The oxygen in the soil is the most important. The correct amount of water and good drainage sets the oxygen levels in the soil which results in better root growth. If you use the technology correctly, you can save energy and water and have an optimal harvest. This system is easy to use, flexible and can be used with any type of farming, ranging from tunnels to fodder. "

He says it depends on the farmers’ budget the location of the orchards or crops, and the soil type to determine how many probes should be used. The system is tuned and serviced monthly.

Dawson Ferreira, a citrus farmer in Andrieskraal near Patensie, who recently installed the probe system, says he is very excited. "Now I can check on my computer any time to control my irrigation. In some orchards I should use up to 60% less water,” he says.

According to him it is a simple and easy system. "Before the probes, we had to make profile holes of 30-50cm every week to determine the moisture in the soil. According to what we found, we had to guess how long to irrigate. This was not always effective and was time consuming.

Wouter warns farmers to use water more sparingly and predicts an acute water shortage in the future. He mentions that this technology allows you to irrigate twice as much.



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Tertius Meyer

Tertius Meyer
27-02-2017
Contact details
Fred Ferreira Way, Patensie, 6335, Eastern Cape
+27 (042) 283 0329
+27 (042) 283 0382
info@gamtooswater.co.za
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