Things to Consider While Choosing an Irrigation System

Water is vital for plants and crop health. However, it is difficult to water the crops manually. We need pumps, hoses, sprinklers and sufficient water for irrigation. Earlier people use traditional watering methods like flood irrigation systems that lead to more water consumption and wastage.

The traditional methods use the flood water irrigation which involves a large hose splashing water into the fields, and the water flows through the drains made of mud, to reach the plants. These methods have some disadvantages like mowing down the plants due to water pressure, rotting of roots and wastage of water.

Therefore, farmers need to use contemporary irrigation systems that offer water in proper amounts, avoid wastage and provide more control. This post shares the essential points to consider while choosing an irrigation system for your lawns or fields.

Type of Soil
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The first factor to think about while choosing an irrigation system is the type of soil in your garden or fields. It affects the irrigation method and run times. The sandy soils need more frequent watering as compared to the clay soils. The clay soils need less frequent watering as they can retain moisture for longer durations.

Land Topography

The topography of the land is also an essential factor to consider. Irrigation in hilly areas can be a challenge. The traditional watering systems may lead to the flowing of water down the slopes, and there is no water left for the plants. Drip irrigation or sprinkler irrigations systems are used in the hilly areas for watering the crops.

Type of Crops

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It is essential to consider the types of plants that you need to grow before investing in irrigation systems. The sprinklers and drip irrigation systems are expensive, and you need to spend thousands of dollars on their installation. The commodity crops like wheat, cotton, paddy, and soybeans don’t need the sprinkler or drip irrigation. You require them only for the crops like orchard crops, fruits, and vegetables that need controlled irrigation.  Therefore, the types of plants that you need to grow can significantly affect the requirement of irrigation equipment.

Local Weather

The local weather also affects the irrigation as water evaporates quickly with winds in low humidity areas. The drip irrigation is best for areas where the rate of evaporation is high as it sprays the water directly near the roots of the plants. The water gets absorbed into the soil surrounding the roots and does not evaporate in large quantities. The plants get sufficient water before it evaporates into the air.

Quality of Water

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For using the latest irrigation equipment such as sprinklers and drip irrigation the farmers need high quality of filtered water. The water with impurities like dirt or other matter can clog the sprinkler heads and drips. All the latest irrigation systems need a good quality of water for their functioning. If the quality of water is not up to the mark, it requires filtration before using it for irrigation. The water at some places contains high levels of iron and minerals that may affect the irrigation equipment and crop health. Water with a high amount of minerals is not fit for directly spraying on the crops.

Location and Availability of Water

The location and availability of water is another critical factor that contributes to crop irrigation. The source of water such as ponds lakes and underground wells will determine the type of irrigation pumps that we need to use for watering of crops. The locations where the supply of water is low will alone determine the best choice of irrigation systems. In such places, conservation of water is a prime concern, and we need to use the irrigation systems that consume less amount of water.

Shape and Size of the field

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The shape and size of the fields also determine the type of irrigation equipment used for watering the crops.  You don't need a drip irrigation system for watering small fields. Most of the modern irrigation systems are suitable for watering large fields and Golf Grounds. For small fields, simple rubber hose and a few sprinkler heads will do their job perfectly.

Cost of Irrigation Systems

The cost of irrigation systems is another critical factor that will decide how much you should spend on purchasing the equipment. Farmers with small fields and low yields will not spend on high-end irrigation systems. On the other hand, the owners of large fields that generate high yields every year can afford to purchase advanced irrigation equipment.

These are some factors to consider while choosing an irrigation system for watering of crops. However, farmers and landscape owners also need to consider their personal preferences before choosing the irrigation systems.  The system that the landscape owners should be cost-effective and suitable according to the type of location, availability of water and growth of crops.