Root Demand Irrigation® recently accepted one of 50 awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for ground-breaking industry innovation for the development of its subsurface irrigation product. ASABE President Lalit Verma and ASABE Executive Director Darrin Drolinger further honored RDI by naming it one of five innovations that will change the nature of the crop farming industry.
Root Demand Irrigation is a unique form of subsurface irrigation that interacts with the plants’ roots to release water to meet the crop’s requirements. The RDI tube, a combination of the material science of DuPont and irrigation technology expertise and manufacturing of Valmont® Irrigation, is the key component of the new product. Other “smart” irrigation systems must be monitored and controlled to turn water on and off at a specific time or applied by a carefully planned prescription. The game changer offered by RDI is the way the tube senses the naturally occurring chemicals released by the plants’ roots that in turn releases water at the most beneficial time for the plants.
“It is like precision chemigation in a PVC pipe based on actual water measurements,” ASABE President Verma explains. “The purpose is to economize on the quantity of water used by placing it close to where it is needed in the plant, and at a time that is optimal.”
“RDI is honored to be seen as such an innovation that we stand out among so many outstanding products in the agricultural industry,” said Darren Siekman, Root Demand Irrigation General Manager. “RDI expects its significant benefits will be recognized globally and across broader agricultural segments – making this product truly a game-changer for the crop farming industry.”
Further confirming the trailblazing innovation of RDI, compared to other forms of irrigation, is the minimum filtration requirements for ground or surface water, the ease of installation in irregularly shaped fields or on previously lost acres, as well as the minimum labor requirements during the growing season. An additional benefit is the ability to effectively pair RDI with center pivots to achieve coverage for additional acres while maintaining labor and cost savings.
The AE50 awards program annually honors up to 50 products that will best advance engineering for the food and agriculture industries. Products and systems are selected based on their role in bringing advanced technology to the marketplace that help farmers, food processors and equipment manufacturers cut costs, enhance quality and increase profits.