How do fertigation and chemigation techniques help farmers in feeding plants with nutrients?

Fertigation and chemigation are regular and widely accepted methods for plant protection and fertilization under protected farming. With the fertigation process, the nutrients in fertilizers for most crops, according to the development stage, are delivered with irrigation water.

The application of plant protectants via irrigation systems such as fungicides, nematicides, herbicides, insecticides, biocontrol agents, and bio-control agents has also developed rapidly over the last few decades.

To understand fertigation, it is a must to understand chemigation. So, let’s start with discussing in depth about fertigation and chemigation’s role in agriculture.

An Overview of Fertigation and Chemigation

The fertigation technique is a combination of fertilization and irrigation practices. Ideally, plants need a precise quantity of nutrients for healthy growth with the use of different fertilizers. Farmers disband these fertilizers in different irrigation channels or keep them stored in tanks to nourish them in the soil.

Common nutrients nourished in the soil with the help of the fertigation method are urea, diammonium phosphate, mono-ammonium, ammonia, phosphate, and ammonium nitrate.

On the other hand, chemigation refers to the application of the required chemicals such as fertilizer, insecticide, herbicide, nematicide, and fungicide with the irrigation water used by the center pivot.

Moreover, the proper usage of chemigation safety procedures and equipment also helps farmers in getting a precise and consistent chemical injection and reducing the overall chemical amount to be applied.

How are fertigation and chemigation related?

There is a stronger connection between fertigation and chemigation to provide a uniform additive and water quantity to each plant. Uniformity is one of the essential factors in the successful application of chemigation and fertilization.

This uniformity depends on multiple aspects such as the homogeneity of water application, use and adjustment of injection equipment, and compatibility between application conditions and additives, especially in conditions such as heavy wind.

Linear and pivot systems are the most suitable sprinkler application systems due to their increased potential and uniform water distribution over big areas. Over the last few years, the global fertigation and chemigation market has been witnessing major growth due to factors such as increased yield and high nutrient uptake.

According to BIS Research, the global fertigation and chemigation market is expected to reach $18,968.6 million by 2027 from a market value of $11,599.0 million in 2021, with a CAGR of 8.45% during the forecast period 2022–2027.

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Application of Fertigation and Chemigation

The application of fertigation and chemigation is linked to each other. The major application of fertigation is to provide plants with an equal amount of water and fertilizers via advanced irrigation systems.

On the other hand, the primary application of chemigation is to provide water-soluble chemicals such as herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. In addition, fertigation and chemigation make sure that the water-soluble products are being delivered to the plants accurately, safely, and evenly over wide areas.

Furthermore, fertigation and chemigation maintain high uniformity of distribution throughout plant systems, maximizing effectiveness and reducing inputs.

The fertigation and chemigation systems can also be used in horticulture and commercial agriculture and can help in situations where:

  • Water or soil testing outcomes are not as per the required quality for farming
  • Additional nutrients are needed based on the growth cycle
  • Nutrient defects have been witnessed in plants
  • Weed or pest management is required for the protection of the yields

In these circumstances, dosing and dispenser units are connected to the existing irrigation system. Dosing units can be applied to any of the irrigation systems, be it lateral move, flood, spray, or drip irrigation system.

Application of fertigation or chemigation can also be made through an automated or manual process. Several advantages can also be recognized because of fertigation or chemigation:

  • High nutrient absorption by plants
  • Decrease in the number of chemicals used in the farming
  • Accurate application rates
  • Expanded lifespan of irrigation system and infrastructure

However, there are certain challenges associated with the adoption of the chemigation system. Let’s understand the challenges.

Challenges Associated with Chemigation

Following are the challenges associated with chemigation:

  • There is a high skill and knowledge requirement of chemicals for the farmers to apply them correctly and safely. Chemigation needs skill in calibration, understanding of the chemigation and irrigation equipment, and its scheduling concepts.
  • Additional needs of equipment such as proper injection and protection devices for the proper growth of the plant is an expensive requirement.

Final Words

The agriculture sector is constantly evolving and constantly shifting from conventional to smart agriculture techniques. The adoption of fertigation and chemigation is one of the best procedures developed for maintaining the chemical and water distribution for the healthy growth of the plant. However, fertigation and chemigation are two different procedures but work as one common system.

Are you interested to know more about the developing technologies in your industry vertical? Get the latest market studies and insights from BIS Research. Connect with us at hello@bisresearch.com to learn and understand more.

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BIS Research offers exclusive market intelligence reports on disruptive technologies. Each year we publish over 200 titles across industry verticals.