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What is the difference between Sprinkler Irrigation and Drip Irrigation?

Irrigation is an artificial method of ensuring plants get enough water through pipes, ditches, drips, sprinklers etc. The main aim of using irrigation is to curb inadequate rainfall, maintain the landscape and help crop growth. Thus, it’s a very critical practice in farming.

Many farmers in Kenya however, find it hard when it comes to choosing a system that better suits them. The two common systems are sprinkler and drip.

Drip Irrigation

This is a system that provides water directly at the root zone of the plant. Water is controlled and drips slowly on the plants roots exactly where it is require thus saving a lot of water. Through drip system, water is saved up to 50%. Through this system, water application is frequent ensuring the ideal moisture level is maintained at all times.

Advantages of Drip System

  • Water is used at maximum level.
  • Fertilizer/nutrient loss is minimized as water is applied locally and leaching is reduced
  • No water being available to weeds.
  • Maximum crop yield.
  • High efficiency in the use of  fertilizers.
  • Less weed growth and restricts population of potential hosts.
  • Low labour and relatively low operation cost.
  • No soil erosion.
  • Improved infiltration in soil of low intake.
  • Ready adjustment to sophisticated automatic control.
  • No runoff of fertilizers into ground water.
  • Less evaporation losses of water as compared to surface irrigation.
  • Improves seed germination.
  • Decreased to tillage operations.

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Disadvantages of Drip

In spite of the fact that drip has so many potential benefits , they’re a certain limitation also, there are as follow:

  • Sensitivity to clogging
  • Moisture distribution problem
  • Salinity hazards
  • High cost compared to furrow.
  • High skill is required for design, install and operation

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler is a type of pressurized irrigation that consists of applying water to the soil surface using mechanical and hydraulic devices that simulate natural rainfall. It is a method by which water is distributed from overhead by high-pressure sprinklers, sprays or guns mounted on risers or moving platforms.

Advantages of Sprinkler System

  • Expansive land leveling is not required.
  • Water saving intensity can be changed in accordance with the infiltration capacity of soil.
  • High efficiency due to uniform water distribution.
  • No special skills trained personal can operate the system reasonably well.
  • Ease and uniform application of fertilizers and pesticides through irrigation system.
  • Possibility of applying minute quantity of water for germination and other irrigation systems.
  • Frequent and light irrigation possible giving better response from the crops.
  • Increase in yield and quality, early ripening, water conservation and alternative value of specific period saving of labor, machinery, fertilizer and pesticides.
  • Soil moisture is maintained at optimum level by sprinkler and 20 higher yields are obtained of crops and the quality of other crops is also good.

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Disadvantages of Sprinkler System

  • Higher initial cost.
  • High and continuous energy requirement for operation.
  • Under high wind condition and high temperature distribution and application efficiency is poor.
  • Highly saline water 7mm hos/cm causes leaf burning when temperature higher than 95 F.
  • When lands have been already leveled and developed for surface or other irrigation methods sprinkler irrigation is not so economical.
  • Loss of water due to evaporation from the area during irrigation.
  • Above canopy sprinkling may cause washing of spray, materials and aggravate the incidence of pests and diseases.

The above information is only meant to make you make better decisions.

 

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Here Are The Things To Consider When Establishing Drip Irrigation In Your Farm

Drip irrigation can boost crop production by way of more than 30% at the same time as the use of 30 to 50% much less water than a sprinkler. It can also save you defects in fruits and greens while saving you time. Right here are our 5 concerns for planning a drip irrigation system for huge-scale or small market farmers.

  • Determine the quality of your water supply for your drip irrigation. Factors can also include such things as pond water source that will require installation of a filtering machine or an adjustment of the water PH, depending on your plants. Familiarize yourself with the elevation of the plot/field you plan to irrigate, as it will determine how you size the system and adjust water flow. A 2.3-foot change in elevation, for instance, results in a gain of 1 pound of water pressure going downhill, or loss of 1 pound of pressure going uphill, requiring pressure compensation within the system on steep slopes. Topography, water flow rate and distance also will affect the size of pipes you’ll need.

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  • Will you automate your drip system? Depending on the complexity and size of the system, you may need to split watering times between different zones to water spaces incrementally, based on the output of your pump or the water needs of different crops. Automation ensures consistency in soil moisture and in flow, versus turning the water on and off at irregular intervals. The latter is important if you use the drip system to fertilize.
  • Think ahead. As plants mature, they require more water, which is especially important if you are irrigating perennial fruit crops. Build the system with the capacity to supply the optimum amount of water plants will need at maturity. If your irrigation water comes from the same well your home uses, the pressure tank may need to be upsized to reduce pump cycling and possible pump burnout. Or, you can irrigate at night when family water use is minimal.
  • Permit for expansion whilst putting in your device. For systems 1 and1/2 acre or larger, scaling for expansion up front will save money, as completely mounted pipes need to be buried underneath the frost line and the value of trenching in pipelines is high-priced. Customize your pipes to accommodate expansion as you increase your operations. Doubling the pipe diameter will quadruple the ability water float rate.

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Drip irrigation is not a set-and-neglect-it solution. Systems need to be checked each day as emitters might also plug and rodents may additionally cause damage. The system additionally need to be drained to winterize it.