INBAR RG-X; Precision Irrigation Solutions for Growing Berries in Substrate

INBAR RG -X meets yet additional requirements strawberry growers had
August 24, 2020
INBAR RG-X; Precision Irrigation Solutions for Growing Berries in Substrate

Strawberries and berries in general are not only a vital source of antioxidants and vitamins with significant health benefits, but they are also considered a high-value crop. Recently, and part of the healthy eating trend, there is a global increase in the consumption of these fruits. No different from the rest of the world, demand and consumption of strawberries and other berries in the UK are on the rise.

The UK market is held mainly by cooperatives dispersed across England and Scotland. To comply with the retail companies' demands to maximize their profits, UK growers, influenced by the Dutch, who are known for their agriculture technology advancements, are driven to embrace new cultivation technologies to increase crops' quality and quantity.

Irrigation is a crucial element in any cultivation process, and even more when cultivating strawberries in substrate - a highly advanced, quality-driven, and clean method. Previously, irrigation of substrate crops used button drippers that connect to laterals, microtubes, and pegs  - a costly system with more than a handful of problems. During winter, the Button drippers tend to break ,during the picking season the microtubes get cut by pickers, system installation is complicated, and replacing damaged button drippers on the lateral could result with leakages - a cumbersome procedure.

Tomer Kniznik from S.A.P Ltd specializes in practical cultivation solutions. He works closely with UK strawberry growers, and his goal is to help them cut back on inputs and reduce environmental phenomena effects on the crops & improve their irrigation efficiency and productivity. "The idea was," he says, "to find a dripping lateral that can be pushed through the substrate without the crops' roots growing into them, hence blocking them."  

The solution Metzer's technical team developed, addresses the exact difficulties growers face in strawberry cultivation, and it is also suitable for other crops. The solution, named INBAR RG -X, is a combination of Metzer's state-of-the-art dripper,

INBAR, sold worldwide, a proprietary technology that prevents root intrusion into drippers, ROOT GUARD, and exclusive production capabilities for marking an X symbol on the lines.
INBAR RG X meets yet additional requirements strawberry growers had. It ensures crop irrigation by clustering the drippers instead of positioning them one next to the other, thereby resolving the issues of drippers pulling out of the grow bags and dripping in between them. Finally, it facilitates a smooth, precise installation procedure, whereas the X symbol marked on the lines shows exactly where to position the drip laterals.

INBAR RG -X is the fruit of matchmaking between clients' needs and a developer with high technological capabilities. In this case, Metzer, the developer of the INBAR dripper for precision irrigation with the great non-drain quality, which streamlines crop improvement.
"The development process," says Tomer, "involved three top strawberry growers, who conducted experiments applying various combinations and configurations of spacing the drip laterals. Because the growers were also the experimenters, and as experiments were conducted on commercial crop production, we received invaluable feedback."
Tomer further elaborates, "Owing to the cooperation, openness, and sincerity of the growers, we were successful at developing a cutting-edge, practical product for these types of crops. And, since launched onto the market," he adds, "the demand for it is high."



According to Tomer, many irrigation companies offer excellent technical solutions. "But, the difference," he says, "was that here, the developer had to find a solution to problems that literally arise from the field, not just develop a commercial off-the-shelf. Metzer," he continues, "demonstrated flexibility and high technological capabilities coupled with impressive human capital resources - a unique combination for tailoring cultivation solutions."
Sharing with us his appreciation, Tomer concludes, "Not only that the people working at Metzer hold profound technical understanding, but they are also a charming bunch open to new ideas."   

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