It is no secret that a dry summer can completely destroy crops. The solution to this problem is artificial irrigation of the fields, which is usually of three types:
- drip irrigation;
- furrow irrigation;
Irrigation by furrow irrigation
Nowadays it is rarely used because of its labor intensity, and is used for irrigation of row crops (less often – cereals). It should be noted straight away that this method is not suitable for saline soils, as harmful soluble salts will be deposited on the furrow ridges after each irrigation.
Nevertheless, there are a large number of fans of furrow irrigation. Irrigation furrows are cut at the same time as ploughing between the rows or sowing. Cultivators with special harrow tines are used for this purpose. When irrigating with furrows it is important to consider the soil properties (degree of moisture, proximity of groundwater). In floodplains, for example, it is advisable to make furrows not in every row, but in every row. This arrangement of furrows is also preferable for irrigating crops with narrow row spacing (this prevents the ridges from being eroded).
About drip irrigation
Drip irrigation is, of course, an innovative technique in which water does not enter the soil from above (as usual), but directly into the area where the roots are, so that the plant quickly extracts moisture. The water is applied systematically and in small portions. This enables the crop to ripen evenly, and the quality of the crop is high, so that it can be harvested earlier. Drip irrigation is also good for the soil: nutrients are not washed out.
It should be noted that drip irrigation can also be used for fertilising, which is an excellent way to save time and effort in fertilising the soil.
Let’s move on to the next method – sprinkling. This method is as close as possible to natural irrigation, which is why it is particularly popular on farms. Sprinkling is made possible by the use of sprinkler machines.
Sprinklers of the drum-type are mobile enough, which many times reduces the cost of transportation. The only thing is that they require a pumping unit which is connected to the PTO-shaft of the towing vehicle. Incidentally, if the pump capacity allows, you can connect up to 4 units to one power source.
The main advantage of using a drum-type sprinkler is that its application does not require additional manipulation with the ground (no need to level the terrain or lay an underground pipeline). This feature makes this technique very attractive for farmers.
If we consider the pros and cons of this method of irrigation, the advantages include:
- approximation of irrigation technology to natural processes;
- semi-automatic irrigation mode;
- high irrigation efficiency regardless of the topography of the field.
Of course, drum-type sprinklers also have their disadvantages, for example:
- the need to consider the quality of water (if there are many impurities in the water, the service life of the technique is reduced);
- the operation of the sprinkler depends on the weather (if it is windy, the quality of the irrigation decreases);
- the need to contact qualified professionals in case of machine breakdowns.
- In addition to drum-type sprinklers, front sprinklers are also used for field irrigation. These are the most expensive machines, which are only suitable for large areas.
Long Distance Sprinklers.
Another type is the tractor-mounted farrow irrigation machine. This is the most cost-effective method of irrigation, which requires the installation of an irrigation canal system. In addition, an operator must be present at all times, which is not convenient for everyone.
The last type of irrigation is sprinkler irrigation, which is a system of pipes and pumping stations. In sprinkler irrigation, special sprinklers are installed at regular intervals to ensure uniform irrigation.