A drip irrigation system is preferred over the other systems because it is economical on water without affecting production. It targets the root area of the crops by releasing the water in small amounts. The water is dripped on the surface or directly into the soil below. Narrow tubes are used to deliver water directly to the base of the plant.
Common names used to refer to this method of irrigating crops include localized, micro and trickle methods. Common features with this farming method are pipes and tubes of different sizes, valves and emitters. In addition to water, fertilizers and pesticides are delivered using the network. Direct delivery covers for the wastage that is witnessed with sprinkling or irrigating by flood.
Emitters were developed after it was noticed that the dripping holes drilled on the pipes were easily blocked by tiny particles. The emitters use velocity to control the amount of water released. The passage ways in this case are larger and longer. A pressurized source of water is required to supply it to the entire farm. It could be natural or be pressurized using a pump. Gravity can be used where the land is conveniently positioned.
The need for a filtration mechanism reduces maintenance attention given to the network. Sand separator options available are screen filters, disc filters, media filters and hydro cyclone. The watering network is combined with chemication and fertigation systems to allow supply of fertilizers and other chemicals. Valves prevent contamination of water source and others sections in the farm with chemicals used on different areas.
Pressure regulators are used at different intervals. This depends on the amount of water required for each plant. Safety valves are either hydraulic, electronic or hand operated. A professional will help you design the right network since the diameters of pipes changes as you move away from the water source. There are poly-tubes which are referred to as laterals for delivering water to the roots.
Different sections of the networked pipes are connected using poly fittings. It takes seasoned professionals to design and install an effective system that reflects the needs and demands of the area. The size of emitters and drippers depend on the crops though there are flexible ones for use on different areas. They determine how much water is dripped. The pumps are run by hands or powered by electricity, solar or generators.
The need for filters to prevent clogging is determined by the type of water available for agriculture. Some systems do not have filters because the water is free of any particles. Filters can be placed at the last line because fine particles easily settle around the area or are accidentally inserted at the intermediate lines.
Drip irrigation system is mandatory if a farmer uses recycled municipal water. There are regulations restricting water that is below certain standards from being sprinkled or flooded. The method is also used to deliver pesticides and other chemicals to the base of crops being irrigated. Research has show that this method is very economical with water and other farming chemicals. The amount of chemicals or fertilizer to be used is given by extension officers.
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