Irrigation systems has becoming an inevitable necessity in every orchard due to the climate change and extreme weather conditions that have shown tremendously negative impact on crops. In a January farm survey by Cornell, due to the record breaking 2016 drought, fruit tree growers across New York without irrigation reported an average 46-percent crop loss, while even growers with irrigation saw 6 percent losses.
A goal of irrigation trials is to develop irrigation schedule for apple orchards that will fit the production goals by using automating irrigation systems and interpreted information about soil water status, plant water use and stress, and weather.
Irrigation trials led by Jaume Lordan Sanahuja and Terence Robinson are located in Geneva, Hudson Valley, Champlain Valley, Wayne County and Orleans County. The experimental orchard in HV received irrigation treatment in which water requirement was weekly calculated using the Cornell model made by Robinson and Lakso 2013. During the 2017 season, data were collected on tree status and growth, yield and fruit quality.