Agricultural irrigation – drip irrigation
The application of agricultural irrigation
Mobile drip irrigation combines central pivot irrigation and drip irrigation techniques for agricultural irrigation, with the benefit of actually saving the farm. As the water crisis is getting worse all over the world, more and more farms have stopped production due to lack of water.
Central hub irrigation was invented in 1940, but was not widely used until the 1950s. It has increased the area of arable land and water use in many rural areas. To put that in perspective, in 1950, the total area of irrigated farmland in the United States was only 1.7 percent of farmland. Today, agriculture accounts for about 80 percent of all water used in the United States. In 2012, the USDA estimated that 17 percent (56 million acres) of farmland was used for irrigation, representing 50 percent of the value of all crop sales.
Flowing drip irrigation
As the water table drops, more and more farms stop producing because there is no water to produce food. In some farm areas, growers who used to use more than 1,000 gallons per minute now use less than half that. When these growers converted their central hub system to a mobile drip irrigation system, they used much less water and were able to bring their land back into production.
Mobile drip irrigation improves water use efficiency
Especially on windy days, water evaporation from central hub irrigation can reach more than 50 percent. Growers need to double down to get the amount of water they need. Other potential water losses include foliar loss, net canopy evaporation, surface evaporation, surface runoff, and deep infiltration. Mobile drip irrigation ensures that water application is accurately and evenly distributed directly to the plant root zone, solving all of the water efficiency problems mentioned above. In addition, fertilizer applied with water stays in the root zone longer and is more fertilizer efficient.
Low impact application of mobile drip irrigation
Direct soil irrigation with flowing drip irrigation ensures little or no soil compaction. Using traditional sprinklers, during the season, it is common to develop a hard can, which helps with water run-off.
Traditional irrigation methods trap dry air in the soil. This reduces the capillary action of water. When you water with a side line, dry air is able to escape from the top of the soil as the water crosses the soil profile. If you want to know the value of this, try holding your nose and drinking water. If air can’t pass through your nose, you’ll drink little or no water at all. The advantage of this capillary action is that water moves through the soil through the root zone rather than leaching out of the roots.
Drip-loaded mobile drip irrigation
Keeping leaves dry and reducing the damage caused by wet leaves has a big payoff. Growers reduce pests, as well as fungal and disease invasions. Leaves don’t burn because the sun magnifies them or fertilizer falls on them. This contributes to the overall vitality of the plant and leads to increased production.
Often, when considering retaining traditional methods, the benefits are reaped years after the change is made. In the case of mobile drip irrigation, we see two main sustainability benefits. Without having to abandon the central axis of your investment, a reduction in the amount of water farmland uses can bring farmland back into production immediately. JXCT is an irrigation equipment manufacturer with many years of experience, drip irrigation equipment, sprinkler irrigation system, more equipment welcome to consult JXCT.