What Types of Irrigation Are There

April 7, 2022

Irrigation refers to the process of channeling controlled amounts of water to farms through artificial means like ditches, pipes, sprinklers, and more. What types of irrigation does agriculture use? There are various types of irrigation out there, and here are some of them.

Surface Irrigation

Surface irrigation is a type of irrigation in which water is applied and distributed by gravity. It is the most common type of irrigation in the world. Surface irrigation can be conducted through border strips, furrows, and level basins. This type of irrigation is easy to use in areas with flat topography and can operate without outlet drainage facilities. Its major drawback is water wastage.

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a low-pressure watering method that channels water to farms through a drip or stream. It is effective at keeping roots moist without soaking them. Drip irrigation uses less water than other methods by minimizing evaporation and runoff. The biggest con of drip irrigation is the clogging of holes along the drip line.

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation is a watering system whereby water is applied to a farm in a manner that resembles natural rainfall. Water is pumped through pipes in a farm and then sprayed using sprinklers. Sprinkler irrigation is easy to set up. It is suitable for all types of soil and ensures uniform water distribution. However, the initial cost of installing a sprinkler irrigation system is high, and water must be clean and free of dirt and other debris to prevent clogging.

Manual Irrigation

Manual irrigation is a common form of watering system in which water is supplied using containers from plant to plant. This type of irrigation uses less water and is cheaper because no special equipment is required. However, manual irrigation is labor- and time-intensive, especially when irrigating a large parcel of land.

Center Pivot Irrigation

Also known as waterwheel and circle irrigation, center pivot irrigation is a watering system in which water is distributed using a set of sprinklers that move on circular wheeled towers. This watering system is commonly practiced in flat areas and plains across the United States. Center pivot irrigation is water efficient and is relatively cheaper than other methods. However, the method leaves a lot of unused space because it can only work on circular fields.

Lateral Move Irrigation

Lateral move irrigation distributes water to a farm through a series of pipes. Each pipe has a wheel and sprinklers, which are automatically or manually rotated to spray water. The sprinklers move a few meters across the field and then connect to a hosepipe to irrigate more distance. Although lateral move irrigation is water efficient, it requires more labor.

How Do I Know What Type of Irrigation My Crops Need

Irrigation is vital in watering plants. Surface, drip, sprinkler, manual, center pivot, and lateral move watering methods are the common types of irrigation systems you can use based on your farm and plants.

Although drip irrigation is considered the best irrigation for crops, you need a professional’s advice to settle on the right irrigation type. Various factors come into play when selecting the right irrigation method. Contact us today for inquiries and a quote on the appropriate irrigation type for your needs.


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