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09/27/05 Experimenting with drip irrigation
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Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: September 27, 2005

Doctor Essie Fallahi at the University of Idaho has been experimenting with drip irrigation in his orchards near Parma. In fact its one of the largest such research projects on drip irrigation. Fallahi and the staff at the Parma Research Center are producing larger, better looking fruit with less water, thanks to the drip irrigation system. Washington State fruit grower Denny Hayden was in Parma earlier this month to see first hand what drip irrigation can do in the apple and peach orchards.

HAYDEN  Essie is doing that work where hes looking at different systems trying to reduce the amount of water that you use on a crop. Very significant environmentally, water usage, fisheries, you know, it hits all the hot buttons.

A fellow member of the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission, Jim Doornink says the commission is funding a lot of the research in Parma in the belief that theyll eventually be able to maintain fruit quality while using far less water.

DOORNINK You cant have reduced quality with reduced water. And I think thats what we need is engineering to make sure were not decreasing the value or the quality of the product.

Doornink and Hayden say Fallahis work in Idaho can be applied to orchards all over the Northwest.

Voice of Idaho Agriculture
Bill Scott

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