Along with CO2, water is the main food for plants.

Without water there are no abundant harvests.

Without abundant harvests, food is scarce.

If food is scarce, its prices increase.

Water is the manna of the 21st century, a scarce commodity that lately we only obtain from the subsoil, since it has not fallen continuously from the sky for many months.

Despite the rains of the last few weeks, in some areas torrential rains, we are in drought and this is being suffered at many levels and in many sectors, among them and notably in the agricultural sector.

At Vicente Peris we live off the land and all our crops have a certain demand for water that must be satisfied.

For this reason, we try to be as efficient as possible in irrigation management for several reasons. On the one hand, awareness of the scarcity of an essential good that is in everyone’s hands to take care of. On the other hand, water has a cost, so for any agribusiness or farmer, the goal is to give the crop exactly what it needs, so that it is nourished without wasting a drop of water.

5 water-efficient practices we use at Peris

Drip irrigation in Vicente Peris facilities

Efficiency is Peris’ daily business in a multitude of processes, including crop irrigation. Here we share with you our efficiency practices in the field.

1. Drip irrigation:

This is a highly efficient method that delivers water to the plants in a controlled and precise manner. This makes it possible to apply irrigation in the root zone, which helps increase crop yields, rather than in other areas where irrigation is of little value. In addition, this technology also often allows fertigation, for a more selective application of fertilizers or nutrients.

2. Watering early in the morning:

It is in the early morning when the soil is cooler and the ambient temperature is lower, so that the evapotranspiration of water is considerably reduced by the effect of the heat. By not evaporating, the soil is left with a greater volume of water and irrigation not only has to be less, but we make better use of this limited resource.

3. Calculation of the theoretical irrigation requirement for each type of crop and planting zone:

Neither more nor less, the goal is to give the soil the exact amount of water it needs, or at least try to do so. For this purpose, at Peris we use studies that take into account the water needs of the type of crop, evapotranspiration and rainfall of the previous year, which allows us to start from certain data. Data that, obviously, must be constantly updated and compared with the actual rainfall and with the cycle in which the crop is, since a seedling that is in the growth phase is not the same as a plant that already has its fruits.

In crops where we have more advanced precision technology, it is even possible to determine irrigation by zones or by plants, and apply localized irrigation, which further refines water use efficiency.

4. Getting the most out of blanket irrigation:

In the Huerta de Valencia, where we also have farmland, the procedure is different. In this case, irrigation is by means of the water that comes from the Turia River through a network of centenary irrigation ditches.

Here it is customary for water to be ‘released’ for all farmers on certain days at certain times, and if the water is not used for irrigation it is discharged into the sea. Therefore, we always try to take advantage of irrigation days, so that this precious water has an agricultural use, and does not end up in the Mediterranean.

In these fields we plant spring onion, white celery and peanut squash, and we do it in winter, a period when irrigation requirements are lower.

5. Maintenance of irrigation infrastructures:

A leak here, a break there… Irrigation infrastructures need to be properly maintained to avoid unjustified water losses. For this reason, the entire dripline network is checked frequently, as well as the valves and heads, in order to detect and resolve any incident as soon as possible so that it does not result in a loss of water.

The role of water in the agricultural sector and the agri-food industry

It is important to keep in mind and appreciate that the use of water in agriculture is necessary and vital for food production, that is, to feed the world. But not everything goes.

At Peris we are aware that it is important to use efficient and sustainable irrigation practices to reduce excessive water use and protect the water resources of our environment in the medium and long term.

Having the global GAP and ISO 14001 environmental management certificates helps us to reinforce all these efficiency and sustainability practices, as we are governed by an international standard and are externally audited. This means that the demands are extremely high.

Beyond crop efficiency, there is also a lot of work to be done in the production plants at the organizational level. Because doing things one way or another, small everyday gestures, can save liters and liters of water.

And of course, another of our efficiency techniques is to avoid conformism. Every year we set new efficiency targets and this makes us improve our energy and water consumption year after year.
improve our energy and water consumption year after year.