Irrigation

Irrigation is the artificial process of applying controlled amounts of water for crop production and vegetation. Irrigation helps to grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes, and re-vegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of less than average rainfall for crop production.

There are a number of methods/types of irrigation. They vary in how the water is supplied to the plants. The ultimate goal is to apply the water to the plants as uniformly as possible, so that each plant has the amount of water it needs, neither too much nor too little. The major irrigation types include; sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation and surface irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation

This is the form of water application to crops in form of sprays to simulate natural rainfall. Water is distributed through a well-connected pipe system usually by pump or gravity. The water is sprayed into air a sprinkler which then breaks the jet into fine droplets to simulate rainfall.

The water supply system, sprinklers and operating conditions of the entire irrigation system must be designed to ensure uniform water distribution. Contact a professional team for detailed design guidance to achieve uniformity even on sloping fields.

The system can be permanent or temporary. For a permanent sprinkler system, main water supply pipes and laterals are laid and covered in the ground permanently deep enough to allow land preparation activities without damaging pipes. Whereas for temporary systems, pipes are on the ground for easy shifting from one place to another. Big sprinklers also known as rain guns are used in temporary systems to spray water through a relatively long distance; about 20-80m in length.

Sprinkler

It is a device used to apply water to crops in simulation of natural rainfall. It can be used to irrigate agricultural crops, lawns and other areas that require overhead water application. Sprinklers are mechanical devices and rely entirely on the kinetic energy in flowing water for operation. As water flows through the pipes under pressure, it provides energy that runs the rotary nozzle of the sprinkler as the water is discharged.

Sprinkler are of different sizes and design and there have different application. They also have different pressure and flow rate requirement. It is there important to contact a professional for technical advice before considering to buy any.

Drip irrigation

It is a type of micro irrigation where water is precisely applied at the root zone of the plants. Water drips slowly directly to the roots of the crop through pipes laid either on top of the soil surface or below the surface. This type if irrigation is very effective because it minimizes evaporation and saves water.

Depending on the design, installation, operation and maintenance, a drip irrigation system can be more effective and water saving than other irrigation types. Always contact a professional team for effective designs and installation. Water in drip irrigation is distributed through a network of well designed and installed pipe system with emitters that discharge water at slow rate from 1-20 l/h. Choosing the right emitters depends on the water requirement for crop. This type of irrigation is appropriate for crops at regular spacing.

Rain gun irrigation

This is the simplest form of sprinkler irrigation systems. It is a temporary sprinkler irrigation system and therefore can be shifted from place to place depending on the need for irrigation.

Pressurized water is delivered to the rain gun set through pipes laid either at the surface or underground. The water is then distributed uniformly through a trajectory in the garden along a given length (radius) according to the design of the sprinkler. Rain guns just like other sprinklers have rotary nozzles which rotate as it discharges to make a circular water distribution shape.

Rain guns have a high water discharge rate of about 2.4m3/h and above depending on the size of the rain gun you choose and therefore requires a sustainable and reliable water source. The rain gun system is usually simple consisting of a high pressure pump, delivery pipes and the rain gun set with its stand.