A Quick Hack To Irrigation Methods For Farm Management
Have you ever thought about developing your irrigation system for your farm? Imagine a farm that waters itself! Considering how long it takes to get water to your plants if you have a relatively large farm, installing your irrigation system seems like an expensive project, but it can be affordable and effective. This blog post addresses effective irrigation methods to adopt for effective farm management.
A Simple and Effective Approach to Irrigation is Drip irrigation. It conserves water and keeps plants uniformly hydrated. It automatically provides water to the plants’ roots when it should, this water is delivered via a tube or pipe (on the ground or buried close to the root of your crop) which runs the length of the rows of your farm. Easy to build, just a couple of hours to put together with few components which do not require too many materials to assemble.
Furthermore, Drip Irrigation involves the use of a small diameter tube or pipe with emitters/outlets to apply water directly to the root area of your crop and set on a timer. The emitters can be installed into the tubing by hand to water a specific crop. The easy-to-install drip irrigation system is hooked up to your water source and it perfectly waters your farm when needed. You can always unhook it when it is not in use.
If your crop no longer needs water, the water flow can be stopped. A challenge with drip irrigation is that each year or session, your plant layout might vary, and reconfiguring and changing the tubing and emitters is not always easy.
Its advantages include more efficient water usage (water applied directly to soil), adaptability for fertigation (injection of fertilizers), reduced disease problems because the plant leaves are not watered, low energy and labor requirements.
Other effective irrigation methods that imitate a drip irrigation system;
- OLLA (CERAMIC POTS)
Ollas are unglazed pots that have a wider belly and a narrower neck. It is an old technique for irrigation but still very applicable. Because water seeps through the walls of an unglazed olla by using soil-moisture tension, they are very good for irrigation. The olla is buried in the ground, with the neck of the olla extending above the soil, filled with water close to your crop or around your crop. Fill it with water 1 – 2 times a week, and your crop roots will absorb the water that seeps out into the soil. Given enough amount of irrigation, the olla can be lifted out of the ground and used somewhere else. This is applicable to vegetable and tuber crops.
- PLASTIC BOTTLE
Using a plastic bottle and a sock. Puncture holes around the sides of the bottle, place it close to your crop in the ground and then stuff a sock in it. This will absorb and retain the water, slowly distributing it to your crop. Unscrew the cap and fill the bottle whenever you’re ready to water again. This method is most suitable for a small farm.
You should know how much water your crop needs and ensure your irrigation system is operating properly, because water leaks, pipe breaks, or malfunctioning timers wastewater which costs unnecessary expenditures.
To ensure your irrigation system is functioning properly, check for the following regularly:
- No leaking tubes or pipes
- The Emitters are intact and not clogged
- The timer is set at proper run times
- Your water source is not dry
Farmers considering the best irrigation system to use on their farms must take into consideration many factors like soil type, budget, crop type, setup and convenience, erosion, location of the water source, yield potential among others.
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