Toro announced the release of its latest guide, Micro-Sprinklers for Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The guide describes the micro-sprinkler system, its benefits, and provides basic design and installation information.

Micro-sprinklers have been used to provide climate control and irrigate fruit, nut and cover crops for many years. Now, micro-sprinklers may be used for IPM purposes to wash dust off crop leaves and increase humidity. This suppresses harmful insects such as mites and spider mites, and encourages beneficial insects, such as persimilis.

At the same time, micro-sprinkler IPM systems apply far less water at much lower operating pressures than traditional sprinkler systems. "Micro-Sprinkler IPM system application rates are very low, ranging from 0.03 to 0.29 inch per hour on a 20-foot grid, compared to 0.20 to 0.35 inch per hour with conventional sprinkler systems," explains Inge Bisconer, technical marketing and sales manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation. "The lower application rate helps ensure maximum crop-washing time with minimal runoff." System pressures between 15 and 25 pounds per square inch are far lower than the 50 to 80 psi operating pressure of typical conventional sprinkler systems, too. Bisconer adds, "As a result, micro-sprinkler IPM systems can apply as little as one-tenth the water at one-fifth the pressure to achieve superior results."

Micro-sprinkler IPM systems are typically installed on a grid pattern above crops, such as strawberries, and remain in place through the season without the need for installation labor until removal at the end of the season. The systems have been adopted by both conventional and organic growers, both of whom benefit from minimizing the use of expensive and/or undesirable pesticides.

To access or download Toro’s IPM guide, or to learn more about drip irrigation, visit driptips.toro.com