During Husker Harvest Days 2014, Root Demand Irrigation™ (RDI™) is launching a revolutionary, subsurface irrigation method to help growers improve underperforming acres using less water, energy, and time. Based on the natural processes of plant growth, this new method provides plant-driven irrigation from the ground up.
The RDI solution was co-developed by Valmont® Irrigation and DuPont after years of extensive research on the natural process of root exudation, a means in which the plant roots send “signals” to release water from the RDI tube. Water is delivered at low pressures to plant roots via a proprietary RDI tube.
At the centerpiece of RDI is a series of subsurface distribution tubes, porous along their entire length (unlike other types of subsurface irrigation) and positioned below the root zone. Manufactured by Valmont Irrigation in the United States, the RDI tube is fully compatible with fertigation and chemigation. More importantly, RDI eliminates filtration concerns as the filter is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand and filtration maintenance is handled with ease.
RDI General Manager Darren Siekman states that RDI is a labor-free irrigation solution that saves time, energy, water, and money. “Growers are continually challenged to find new ways to meet ever-increasing demands for productivity,” Siekman said. “To remain globally competitive, it’s more important than ever to bring underperforming acres up to speed, and RDI is designed for the challenge.”
RDI offers a new solution to growers who use less efficient and labor-intensive flood irrigation. Side-by-side comparisons show that RDI delivers the same or slightly higher yields, while using 40 percent less water than adjacent flood-irrigated acres.
Growers now have an alternative in the subsurface irrigation market. RDI is currently being offered in limited commercial release through select dealers. With RDI, growers can set it, forget it, and monitor from the ground up.