Growing hazelnut trees: more yield and quality with drip irrigation 

Learn how to significantly increase productivity and quality in hazelnut trees through Irritec’s drip irrigation technologies. 

Hazelnut irrigation and water needs

In the last decade, coriliculture has gone through an important expansion phase both in Italy and abroad. The modernization of plants, their extension and the planting of new hazelnut trees all over the world, requires a need for better and more careful management of water resources and nutrients, to guarantee the sustainability of processes and improve market competitiveness.  

Irrigation of the hazelnut is aimed at returning the quantity of water transpired by the plant. To avoid serious water stress, hazelnut cultivation requires approximately 800 mm of rainfall over the course of the season. Maintaining controlled water stress improves production, for example, reducing the quantity of empty shells by 20/25% compared to traditional non-irrigated systems.  

Drip and sub-irrigation for maximum precision

After decades of field applications, the best performing irrigation system for hazelnut cultivation is the drip system. This is achieved by installing a single dripline in the inter-row (6×6 per row, three meters from the trunk, approximately 1666 linear meters of dripline per hectare).  

Drip irrigation is extremely advantageous in hazelnut cultivation, both in the breeding and production phases. When starting a new hazelnut grove, the use of drip irrigation allows uniform rooting and growth of the plants, as well as rapid development and early entry into production. In the next phase, the water drops guarantee, among other things, greater production and a greater caliber of hazelnut.  

In mechanized systems in which the superficial driplines represent an agronomic tare, as they could hinder the automatic hazelnut harvesting operations, the drip system can be buried (sub-irrigation) at a depth of between 30 and 35 cm and 2.5-3 meters from the trunk. This technique increases irrigation performance by minimizing waste of water and fertilizers.  

Sub-irrigation (on new groves) must be used with the aid of superficial emergency irrigation for the first two years of life to allow the young hazelnut roots to adequately establish themselves.  

 

 

The importance of filtration

The drip irrigation system requires a specific filtration system upstream, based on the origin and physical-chemical characteristics of the water. 

For water coming from basins, lakes or open-air streams, grit filters with automatic backwashing are recommended as well as the appropriate safety filters (mesh or disc) sized to the flow rate of the system. 

For water coming from wells with a high quantity of sand, the use of hydrocyclone filters accompanied by appropriate safety filters (net or disk) sized to the flow rate of the system is recommended. 

The choice of Irritec metal filters, available in various manual or automatic models and types, provides maximum adaptability and reliability. 

 

 

 

Fertigate the hazelnut grove for perfect nutrition

To obtain optimal results, the water through the irrigation system must enrich the soil with NPK substances which are fundamental for the development and fruiting of the plants. Nutrition, in appropriate doses, will always be subject to an analysis of the soil and the initial water source. 

The ideal fertigation system must be capable of injecting, in a manner proportional to the irrigation flow rate, the three elements mentioned (NPK). It must also be able to evaluate the chemical nature of the water in terms of pH and EC reaction (electrical conductivity) to avoid risks linked to adverse reactions. 

Irritec injection systems managed by Commander NPK programmers respond to these needs. With maximum reliability and ease of use, they allow you to inject fertilizers (liquid or diluted in water) at injection rates between 150 l/h and 1700 l/h (depending on the models). 

 

 

Automate the irrigation system with Irritec

For correct management of irrigation shifts, volumes delivered and to minimize management costs, it is recommended to automate the system with solenoid valves, water meters and monitoring tools useful for assessing the real water stress of the crop. 

Commander EVO® controllers meet the irrigation needs of any size farm. These tools combine the management of pH and EC with a professional approach to irrigation rotation. Furthermore, they are equipped with remote controls via radio which can be managed with internet access software. 

The Irritec radio system is a reliable and effective solution for all agricultural companies that want to automate distant valves or fragmented and non-contiguous plots.