North Carolina farmer reports Netafilm increased yield while cutting costs

Netafilm USA has released a film depicting the hardships of farming in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, where farmers contend with difficult topography, diverse soil conditions, limited water and ever-changing weather.

North Carolina corn farmers have resorted to using drip-irrigation technology for increased growth, yield and profit.

"Water is our most limiting factor here," East Bend, North Carolina farmer Kevin Matthews, who is featured in the film, said. "We are blessed with a lot of rainfall, but when it quits raining we are 12 days away from a drought in the Piedmont."

Before Matthews began using the Netafilm subsurface drip-irrigation system, he used a center-pivot system that caused many problems and limitations.

"We felt like we needed to make a change," Matthews said. "We've had center pivots for a while, but they just don't work in our small field sizes, so four years ago we decided we had to do something different, and went with subsurface drip irrigation (SDI). SDI allows us to irrigate fields that you just cannot irrigate with a center pivot. Our goal is to farm fewer acres while producing more bushels and SDI has done exactly that."

The increase in Matthews' yield has been so great that he has been able to show a net return on investment in less than three years.

"The SDI system has allowed us to cut our fertilizer use by 30 percent," he said. "The reduction in fertilizer use is a significant factor regarding cost-cutting and in reducing the leaching of chemicals into local streams. It is a benefit that we were not expecting when we first considered SDI."

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