What does Drip Irrigation means For Farmers ?
In our previous blog, we discussed the cons and pros of sprinkler irrigation. Our today’s topic is Drip irrigation. This irrigation is transforming the lives of millions of farmers across the world, enabling higher yields to be produced from any land, while saving water, fertilizer, and energy. It is sometimes called trickle irrigation and involves dripping water onto the soil at very low rates (2-20 liters/hour) from a system of small diameter plastic pipes fitted with outlets called emitters or drippers. It is the most efficient water and nutrient delivery system for growing crops. It delivers water and nutrients directly to the plant’s roots zone, in the right amounts, at the right time, so each plant gets exactly what it needs, when it needs it, to grow optimally. Water is applied close to plants so that only part of the soil in which the roots grow is wetted, unlike surface and sprinkler irrigation, which involves wetting the whole soil profile. With drip irrigation water, applications are more frequent (usually every 1-3 days) than with other methods and this provides a very favorable high moisture level in the soil in which plants can flourish.
Drip irrigation system delivers water to the crop using a network of mainlines, sub-mains and lateral lines with emission points spaced along their lengths. Each dripper/emitter, orifice supplies a measured, precisely controlled uniform application of water, nutrients, and other required growth substances directly into the root zone of the plant. Water and nutrients enter the soil from the emitters, moving into the root zone of the plants through the combined forces of gravity and capillary. In this way, the plant’s withdrawal of moisture and nutrients are replenished almost immediately, ensuring that the plant never suffers from water stress, thus enhancing quality, its ability to achieve optimum growth and high yield. Smaller amounts of water applied over a longer amount of time provide ideal growing conditions. Drip irrigation extends watering times for plants and prevents soil erosion and nutrient runoff. Also, because the flow is continuous, water penetrates deeply into the soil to get well down into the root zone. Because drip irrigations are so effective, there is less chance of erosion, with very little runoff ending up in area streams and rivers. Drip Irrigation not only delivers greater ROI compared to other irrigation methods, but it also gives farmers an efficient and simple way to operate their farm.
Drip irrigation is today’s need because Water – nature’s gift to mankind is not unlimited and free forever. World water resources are fast diminishing. It is totally customized, efficient and long–life system which ensures saving in water, early maturity and a bountiful harvest, season after season, year after year. Apart from all this, savings in labor and fertilizer costs.