Most common irrigation methods
Water is an essential part of growing crops on your farm, and lack of it thereof might mean that your plants might die. After planting crops on your farm, you want to ensure that they not only get the right nutrients but also get enough water. While some farmers rely heavily on rainfall for water, sometimes, one might need to supplement the farm’s water supply. In cases where there is a drought or non-consistent rain patterns, then it is advisable to think about irrigation.
Below are some of the most common irrigation methods;
1. Surface irrigation
This is one of the most common methods of irrigation used by farmers all over the world. The water distribution in this type of irrigation relies on gravity. Surface irrigation is best used on soils with a fine texture and is quite labor-intensive, given that it does not use any advanced technology. Under this type of irrigation, there are several other methods, including furrow irrigation, basin irrigation, and border irrigation. Some of the advantages of this method of irrigation are that it is cost–effective, and has a minimum filtration rate. On the downside, however, is that it is labor-intensive, and draining the excess water from the fields can be challenging.
2. Sprinkler irrigation
This type of irrigation imitates how normal raindrops fall on the crops. It uses irrigation sprinkler pumps to ensure that the water has enough pressure to be released to the crops through the sprinklers. This method of irrigation distributes water uniformly across the farm, meaning that it can be used for many types of crops. Additionally, it can be used on different types of soils, topography, and slopes. However, it is important to note that proper maintenance of the sprinklers is vital.
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The entry of silt and debris in the sprinkle affects how it performs and may cause blockages, which may destroy the whole equipment in the long run. Also, you should ensure that the size of water droplets is well controlled; big droplets of water might destroy the crops and the soil. Some of the cons of this irrigation method are high cost, large consumption of energy, and the effect of strong winds and high temperatures.
3. Sub-surface irrigation
In the subsurface irrigation, the crops are watered by pipes placed below the ground. This method prevents the loss of water through evaporation and is used in dry areas. The water used in subsurface irrigation should be clean and with no debris to avoid blockage of the pipes.
Some of the pros of this type of irrigation are that it is not labor-intensive and saves water. On the other hand, the cons are that it is costly to set up, and root hairs can block or even destroy the pump drippers.
The type of irrigation method you go for depends on a number of factors including, land topography, types of crops grown, soil types, weather conditions, and water supply. As such, be sure to evaluate all these factors before choosing any of them.