Drip irrigation, otherwise known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation, is a type of irrigation, which uses water at a very low-pressure and at an even rate into plants and soil. The rate can vary between 2 and 20 liters per hour based on the need and area of cultivation. This method has been exclusively designed for water conservation, as it prevents water loss through run-off or evaporation. This type of irrigation could be either very complex when it’s used to serve huge agricultural lands or just a simple one that serves small garden areas.
How does drip irrigation work?
Drip irrigation, which is one of the most controlled irrigation processes, has been the most innovative method that offers various benefits to crops. Drip emitters are used in this type of irrigation that allows the water to flow in a very slow and steady manner. These emitters are quite small, and are placed on the ground in rows. They are connected to the main water source with the use of a hose feeder. There is another type of drip irrigation, which uses hose with inbuilt drip emitters, and is known as trickle tap irrigation. In either of these methods, the slow water flow guarantees that the entire water will be absorbed into the roots of the plants with no chance of evaporation.
There are farmers who even mix nutrients and fertilizers in the water supply to aim them directly to the base of the plants.
How does drip irrigation save water?
Drip irrigation can protect water resources, help you save on your water bills, and even offer a higher yield of crop. In fact, burying the irrigation lines will even prevent annual weeds; as such weeds will not survive with under the ground irrigation since they require water on the surface level to germinate.
Benefits of Drip Irrigation
Apart from conserving water, the drip irrigation technique also offers several other benefits, some of which are:
- Nutrient loss and fertilizer usage is minimized because of reduction in leaching and localized application.
- This method ensures efficient application of water, and when properly done, absolutely no wastage happens.
- There is no need for field leveling, and even irregular shapes of fields can be served.
- Recycled water can be used for this type of irrigation.
- Weed growth and soil erosion are minimized.
- Irrespective of the soil type, drip irrigation can be done.
- You won’t need a lot of people to work in the fields, which in turn helps you to save on labor costs.
- Use of fertilizers is minimized and there is reduced risk of diseases, as the foliage is dry.
- Operation cost is reduced as drip irrigation uses low-pressure method, unlike other methods.
- This method facilitates improved quality of environment.
Variations in Drip Irrigation System
There are several types of drip irrigation system, namely:
- Automatic irrigation
- Dig drip irrigation
- Farm irrigation
- Garden drip system
- Indoor irrigation
- Lawn drip irrigation
- Rain drip irrigation
- Toro drip irrigation
Drip irrigation system is the most commonly applied technique, as farmers who want to irrigate intelligently and use water resources wisely often opt for it. Since this method brings considerable water and capital investment savings, its cost effectiveness is another factor that works in its favor. By encouraging better resource use, drip irrigation increases yields and their quality, thus helping you enjoy improved profitability. No wonder why the utilization of drip irrigation is a prudent decision. If you too have been thinking about an efficient method of irrigation, it’s time to assess how drip irrigation can help, and start using it.