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Netafim offers solution to pest problems in alfalfa

Netafim USA Published on 15 June 2012

Netafim USA is introducing Protect-T, a new drip irrigation additive that will help manage pest infestation in alfalfa crops.

Until now, alfalfa growers have been reluctant to install drip irrigation systems because of the $50 to $200 per-acre annual repair costs from rodent damage.

Protect-T addresses this problem by driving rodents, such as pocket gophers and moles, out of the field altogether – preventing them from damaging dripperlines.

“Data has shown time and time again that drip irrigation in alfalfa provides higher yields, a better quality stand and increased water efficiency for many growers,” said Todd Rinkenberger, director of sales and marketing for Netafim USA’s agriculture division.

“But the ongoing problem has been the damage pests cause to the drip systems by chewing on them. Protect-T is a product that, when used as part of an Integrated Pest Management plan, can have significant benefits in controlling pests.”

Protect-T is a naturally occurring additive that is injected into Netafim’s dripline system during routine irrigation. Netafim has entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with Ag Water Chemical, the makers of Protect-T for the distribution rights to the product.

Rinkenberger says field studies have shown that the use of Protect-T reduces gopher mound activity in alfalfa by 84 percent.

Tests are currently underway for the use of Protect-T application in other crops – though currently Netafim alfalfa drip systems are the only systems that use Protect-T.

“We’re seeing data that shows a 28 percent per-acre yield increase with drip irrigation in alfalfa and a 37 percent increase in water efficiency,” noted Rinkenberger. “Combine those numbers with the benefits of Protect-T and it makes sense for growers to reconsider drip irrigation in alfalfa.”  FG

—From Netafim USA news release