A drip tape is one of the most important components of a drip irrigation system. The drip tapes or tubes are polythene made hoses. These hoses have emitters placed on them. The emitters emit water to the root zone of plants.
Good quality drip tapes can usually last several years. However, in Nigeria, there are a lot of unscrupulous dealers that pass poor quality drip tapes as high quality ones, these poor quality drip tapes hardly last for 6 – 12 months.
Drip tapes can last 2 – 8 years depending on the quality.
This post will tell you how long a drip tape can last; it will also reveal the factors that determine the longevity of drip tapes.
Factors that determine the longevity of drip tapes
The following factors determine the longevity of drip tapes:
The quality of the raw materials
The type of polythene and other materials used for the manufacturing of the drip tapes can determine if the drip tapes will last long or not.
Some unscrupulous drip tapes vendors in Nigeria intentionally import drip tapes made from low quality polythene and pass them off as high quality drip tapes. If you are unlucky to buy this type of drip tapes, you may need to replace them after a few months.
As a novice or farmer, it is very difficult to spot drip tapes made from low quality raw materials, this is why you have to purchase your drip tapes from credible vendors like Veggie Concept.
Though drip tapes are expected to be UV resistant, high temperature and humidity can reduce the longevity of most drip tapes.
In tropical countries like Nigeria, drip tapes may not last as long as when used in temperate countries like the United Kingdom.
High temperature may make the drip tape become elastic; this may later lead to the damage of the drip tapes. However, if you purchase high quality drip tapes with UV tolerance property, they will last long even under tropical conditions.
The thickness of the drip tape
In Nigeria, most farmers prefer to buy thicker drip tapes, thinking that thicker drip tapes will last longer. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
For example, 1500 metres drip tapes are usually thicker than 2000 metres drip tapes in Nigeria. However, some 2000 metres drip tapes despite being less thick can last longer than 1500 metres drip tapes.
Some very thick drip tapes or tubings may brittle on your farm within a few weeks while the drip tapes you see as very light may last several years on your farm.
In order not to be tricked into buying bad drip tapes because they look thick, it is advised that you patronize credible dealers that can advise you.
The pressure of the flowing water
If the pressure of the water flowing in the drip tape is higher than the recommended limit, the drip tape may get damaged. They may not last as long as envisaged.
You are advised to stick to the recommended water pressure range.
The filtration system
Dirty water can clog the drip tapes and render them useless. This can reduce the lifespan of the drip tape.
A good drip tape should last for at least 4 years. This will give you enough time to recoup your investment and make profit.