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April 16, 2022

Drip Irrigation

What is drip irrigation?
Drip irrigation refers to a system where water flows through a filter into drip pipes of various sizes with emitters located at different spacings. Water is evenly distributed through these emitters directly to the roots of the plants through a slow-release device. This system majorly helps in water conservation by reducing evaporation and deep drainage if properly installed and managed.
Compared to traditional irrigation systems or other automated modes of irrigation like overhead sprinklers or flood systems, the drip irrigation system provides a targeted release of the right quantity of water precisely to the plant roots.

Benefits of drip irrigation system:
• Adaptable to any farming land and is suitable for almost all soils
• Reduces spread of diseases due to overflooding of irrigation water.
• Higher water efficiency and lower labour costs
• No need to level a field for drip irrigation. This system can irrigate an irregular shaped field as it is extremely flexible to design.
• Little to no loss of fertilizers and nutrients mixed with water
• Reduction of weed growth, leaching and pest invasion
• Can be used on all soil types and field capacity can be maintained with low soil erosion
• Extremely high control of water that ensures the uniform distribution of resources.
• Saves energy as the drip irrigation system is generally operated at a lower pressure than other irrigation systems

Commercial drip irrigation systems:
A commercial drip irrigation system is installed when the irrigation patterns for the specific plants are extremely technical and the farming is on an industrial scale. They are designed by experts and can be customised to suit the need of the shape and size of the plantations.
Most commercial drip irrigation systems have a filter to prevent clogging of the path of flow for the water. There are various technological developments in this field that have successfully attained a ‘No clogging’ method of transferring water. These filters are highly recommended as investing in a filter of good quality will save more than the maintenance and repairs cost spent each time post clogging.

Components of a drip irrigation system:
• Pump units
• Emitters (drippers)
• Laterals
• Control head
• Main lines and distributary lines

Operating a drip irrigation system:
A drip irrigation system is usually permanently installed and its instillation does not change based on seasons. However, the flow and amount of water that is emitted is altered based on various external factors. Due to this a drip irrigation system can be easily automated to suit the needs of each plant specifically. The process of automation will require technical knowledge and it is best to get in touch with a professional to understand the exact working of the system based on the needs of the plants cultivated.
Plants can be watered frequently based on the humidity and this provides am extremely conducive environment for the roots to grow and strengthen. Since a drip irrigation system wet only the roots of the plant, it saves 70% more water than other modes of irrigation. The wetting patterns depend on the soil type and this can be controlled, made conducive for the plants with the amount of dripping water.

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