Equipment Modification for Asparagus Culture and Row Crop Drip Tape Installation.
W. G. Stapleton1, C.L. Morrison2, T.R. Ortega1, S.S. Lee1, and S.T. Cockerham2. (1) Univ of California, Agricultural Operations, 1060 Martin Luther King Blvd, Riverside, CA 92507, (2) Univ of California, Agricultural Operations, 1060 Martin Luther King Blvd, Riverside, CA 92507
Asparagus breeding has long been an important project at the University of California, Riverside. The culture of asparagus plot care has changed over the years. Recently, the bed configuration was changed. The asparagus has been planted on a high crown bed, but now the beds are flat. The new beds are spaced to allow a narrow 4-wheel drive tractor with a rototiller modified by mounting furrowing shovels on the back. A cow-catcher was mounted on the front of the tractor to prevent damage to the fern. The modification allows for a one-pass operation to cultivate small weeds, incorporate pre-emergent herbicides, and form furrows for irrigation. Melons, onions, corn, and tomatoes planted in plots are micro-irrigated. The drip tape currently preferred is 5 cm wide, too wide for the commercial tape installer to allow precision placement. A modification of the reels, guides, and shoes allows for highly precise placement of the tape.