FRESNO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Farming is never easy, but in North Carolina’s Piedmont region, the difficult topography, diverse soil conditions, limited water availability and erratic weather conditions present a unique set of challenges for the area’s corn growers. In a region dominated by dry-land farms, a new video released by Netafim USA tells the story of one farmer that is part of an increasing number of Carolina corn growers who are turning to drip irrigation technology as a solution for maximizing the growth, yield and profitability of their corn crop.
As a 4th generation farmer in East Bend, NC, Kevin Matthews is very familiar with the challenges of growing corn in the Piedmont. “Water is our most limiting factor here. We are blessed with a lot of rainfall, but when it quits raining we are 12 days away from a drought in the Piedmont,” he says.
For Matthews, the decision to install subsurface drip irrigation was made easier due to his previous experience with the limitations of a center pivot system.
“We felt like we needed to make a change,” explains Matthews. “We’ve had center pivots for awhile, but they just don’t work in our small field sizes, so four years ago we decided we had to do something different, and went with subsurface drip irrigation. SDI allows us to irrigate fields that you just cannot irrigate with a center pivot. Our goal is to farm fewer acres while producing more bushels and SDI has done exactly that.”
Since installing his Netafim SDI system, Matthews continues to reap the rewards of significant yield increases and reduced input costs. He credits SDI with changing the dynamics of his business. “Excellent dry land corn crops are usually around 175-180 bushels per acre, but with Netafim SDI we are at 300 bushels per acre, using only 11 inches of irrigation water. It’s simple farm economics, you double the yield, but you’ve only bought the seed one time.”
The significant increase in yield has resulted in Matthews being able to show a net return on investment in less than three years, but the benefits have gone well beyond what he originally expected.
“The SDI system has allowed us to cut our fertilizer use by 30%,” he says. “The reduction in fertilizer use is a significant factor regarding cost cutting and in reducing the leaching of chemicals into local streams. It is a benefit that we were not expecting when we first considered SDI.”
More on Kevin Matthews story and his experience with Netafim subsurface drip irrigation is available by visiting Netafim USA’s YouTube channel or at the following link: Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) Yields 300 bushels/acre of Corn for Grower Kevin Matthews.
ABOUT NETAFIM USA
Netafim USA, based in Fresno, Calif., develops and manufactures drip irrigation systems for agriculture, landscape & turf, greenhouse & nursery, mining and wastewater. Netafim offers an extensive range of irrigation solutions including driplines, filters, sprinklers, valves, water meters and automation equipment for complete dripline system installations. For more information go to www.netafimusa.com.