Irrigation is the artificial application of water to land for the purpose of agricultural production. Effective irrigation will influence the entire growth process from seedbed preparation, germination, root growth, nutrient utilization, plant growth and regrowth, yield and quality.
The key to maximizing irrigation efforts is uniformity. The producer has a lot of control over how much water to supply and when to apply it but the irrigation system determines uniformity. Deciding which irrigation systems is best for your operation requires knowledge of equipment, system design, plant species, growth stage, root structure, soil composition, and land formation. Irrigation systems should encourage plant growth while minimizing salt imbalances, leaf burns, soil erosion, and water loss. Losses of water will occur due to evaporation, wind drift, run-off and water (and nutrients) sinking deep below the root zone.
Micro-irrigation, sometimes called localized irrigation, low volume irrigation, or Drip Irrigation is a system where water is distributed under low pressure through a piped network, in a pre-determined pattern, and applied as a small discharge to each plant or adjacent to it. Traditional drip irrigation using individual emitters, subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), micro-spray or micro-sprinkler irrigation, and mini-bubbler irrigation all belong to this category of irrigation methods.
In this system, water falls drop by drop just at the position of roots. Water is delivered at or near the root zone of plants, drop by drop. This method can be the most water-efficient method of irrigation if managed properly, evaporation and runoff are minimized. The field water efficiency of drip irrigation is typically in the range of 80 to 90 percent when managed correctly.
Sprinkler or overhead irrigation, water is piped to one or more central locations within the field and distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns. A system using sprinklers sprays, or guns mounted overhead.
Sprinklers can also be mounted on moving platforms connected to the water source by a hose. Automatically moving wheeled systems known as traveling sprinklers may irrigate areas such as small farms, sports fields, parks, pastures, and cemeteries unattended.
Hose Reel Irrigation System
The big hose-reel irrigation machines nourish a world market growing every day thanks to the reached standards of efficiency and versatility. The different models, differing in diameter from 63mm to 150mm, uses today a PET hose remarkably modified inelastic characteristics, resistance to traction, granting also bigger flow rates. All this make them better usable on any kind of soil. Machines use systems to grant bigger comfort during use, with the assembly of hydraulic controls applied to the rotation, supporting legs and other functions. In the most sophisticated versions, hydraulic systems can be also radio-controlled. These applications enable an easy use also for an operator only, with reduced labor intervention in exercise and change of position.
The rewinding system is the real engine of hose-reel irrigation machines. This renewed system gives the even distribution of water, the reduction of losses of pressure, the rewinding speed adjustings of sprinkler and booms, with the precise management of rain height. In general, it’s made of a turbine and a gearbox able to work with many gears, changing the speed depending on the cultivation, the phase of growth and other needs.
Pivot Irrigation System
Pivot systems have drops hanging from a U-shaped pipe attached at the top of the pipe with sprinkler heads that are positioned a few feet (at most) above the crop, thus limiting evaporative losses. Drops can also be used with drag hoses or bubblers that deposit the water directly on the ground between crops. Crops are often planted in a circle to conform to the center pivot. This type of system is known as LEPA (Low Energy Precision Application).