India, the country where farming has a major role in the economic growth of the nation, is exploring the use of micro-irrigation. According to the “Global Micro Irrigation Systems Market, 2017-2025” report, the global micro irrigation systems market stood at US$ 4626.16 Mn in 2017 and is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 11.2% from 2017 – 2025. The market for micro-irrigation is driven by the need to address the water scarcity concerns and for better crop productivity.
The sprinkler irrigation system is one of the most efficient irrigation systems that farmers are relying on today. This method is ideal for water conservation since it sprays water evenly through a system of pipes. The entire soil is effectively irrigated through the spray heads. These sprinklers are especially ideal for efficient coverage of small to large areas. The discharge capacity of these sprinklers can be selected according to the irrigation requirement and the type of property.
When choosing a sprinkler irrigation system, you can choose sprinklers that spray water close to the ground since these are considered more water-efficient. The other variant is a sprinkler system that sprays a fine mist of water. Water scarcity is a global concern today, and drip irrigation is the best alternative for efficient water use. This particular irrigation system ensures that little to no water gets easily evaporated in the process.
A well-planned watering system can definitely help avoid over-watering of the crop or plants. Maintenance and management of the irrigation system is essential to save water and money. Let’s look at some of the common sprinkler irrigation systems available.
The Traditional System
This specific irrigation system was once one of the most commonly used irrigation types for agriculture and landscape. The traditional system uses the pop-up spray head that can be set to spray half-circle, full-circle and quarter circle. Although this is the most basic type of irrigation system, not many are fond of it. One of the reasons why its popularity is waning is because it sprays too much water, which might not be suitable for all kinds of crop. Many people claim that the spraying system makes it difficult for the ground to absorb the water fast. This can definitely lead to water wastage. If you choose this sprinkler type, make sure to ask the expert to install them at a fixed distance to cover the entire area without wasting water.
The Multifaceted Drip System
The drip irrigation system is undeniably the most water-efficient system used to irrigate crops. Since the water is sprinkled slowly and in a systematic order, the landscape gets adequate water nourishment. The drip system is better than the overhead sprinkler head since it is laid throughout the crop bed and the water easily seeps into the soil without wastage. There are different types of equipment to choose from, some of them include drippers, micro-sprayers, and soakers. The best feature of this system is the customisation facility. Unlike most sprinkler irrigation systems, the drip system can easily be customised to meet your needs. The discharge rate of the drip emitters vary and experts usually help customers find the best one for their property. Whether you need micro-sprayers or slow drip emitters, is usually decided based on the crop requirement.
The Soaker Hose Method
The soaker hose method is another commonly used irrigation system. The soaker hose is not technically a sprinkler, but it emits water through the entire length of the hose rather than just the nozzles. People who have a dense landscape should consider using a soaker hose for the best results. It equally distributes the water across the field and is the perfect alternative for homeowners. Prevent water wastage by managing your irrigation system efficiency.
The Rotor Irrigation System
The Rotor system is in demand currently, since it’s water-efficient and makes it easy for the soil to absorb the water without a lot of wastage. Some believe that it is more practical than spray heads. They emit water at a slower pace and works for both small as well as large areas. The radius and the application patterns are adjustable, which makes it easier for uniform distribution of the water.
The Factors To Consider
Investing in a sprinkler irrigation system without prior planning or thought can prove to be problematic for you later. There are certain parameters that you must consider before choosing a sprinkler system.
The shape of the field: Before you pick the right sprinkler type and system, you need to consider the shape of your field. If it’s an odd shape, you might want to choose the rotor system. If you are seeking even distribution, then opt for either the drip method or overhead sprinkler method, based on your requirement.
The size of the field: The next factor to consider is the size. You cannot ignore the size of your landscape. Based on the size, you have to pick the right sprinkler, and space it strategically at a distance to ensure even distribution of the water. While some crops or plants need slow and calculated distribution of water, others need a steady flow of water to sustain.
The time and labour required: Most irrigation systems require adequate maintenance and management. Based on your field and the amount of time and labour required, you can pick the right sprinkler irrigation system. You do not want to invest in an irrigation system unless you are ready to invest the time and effort to maintain it.
The location of the field: The topography of your location is extremely crucial. Whether it’s a flat plain or a hilly area, each location requires a specific type of sprinkler head and system for effective irrigation.
Sprinkler System Capacity
The capacity of a sprinkler system is proportional to the flow rate required for irrigation of an area. The capacity is dependent on the crop requirements, the texture of the soil, water-holding capacity of the soil, the root depth and permitted pumping rate as approved by the authorities.
One of the major benefits of investing in a sprinkler system is the low erosion rate. This is why the application rate of the system needs to match the intake rate of the soil. If the system’s application is higher than the intake rate, there are chances of water runoff. This will eventually lead to overwatering or underwatering of your field.
Recognise the Signs of Damage
Maintainance of the sprinkler irrigation system is extremely essential, which is why you need to periodically check for any damages. Here are some of the signs that indicate that the system needs repair.
Leaks and blockages: Leaks and blockages in the sprinkler valves are damaging for your irrigation system. If there is low pressure in some area, then leaks are bound to pop up.
The system timer: Checking the timer of the irrigation system is essential to optimise the irrigation schedule for your specific landscape.
The sprinkler heads: Any damage to the sprinkler head can cause problems for your system. Check for any wear and tear on a periodic basis.
These are some of the signs of damage that need immediate maintenance. Investing in the right sprinkler irrigation system is essential to avoid frequent damage and issues. Your landscape’s success will depend on a well-functioning system. Routine adjustments and regular maintenance checks are advisable. In case of any concerns, ask an expert to conduct the standard system checks. This will make sure your system is effective and water-efficient.