An agricultural irrigation system is an important investment as well as a significant expense. In order to choose the best make and model for individual ag irrigation needs, it is important to work with an experienced company that carries and installs all types of irrigation systems. Their knowledge and expertise about the different types of agricultural irrigation, including flood, sprinkler, drip, or micro irrigation systems will help get all possible benefits from a certain type of irrigation as well as help save money and improve long-term crop yield. Knowing basic information as shown below is an important factor in determining which type of irrigation system is the best one to use for specific crops in various locations.
Soil Type, Topography, and Climate
The lay of the land plays an important part in knowing which irrigation system is most appropriate, as does local climate and soil type. The exact make-up of the soil will affect water absorption; for example, clay soil absorbs more and sandy soil absorbs less, which is a factor in knowing how much water will run off or be lost to evaporation. The topography of the farmland is a big factor in how much work will be required to prepare fields for any type of irrigation system. Hilly terrain could make a center pivot irrigation system a better choice than flood irrigation. Similarly, the amount of heat and humidity in certain climates affects evaporation rates, which helps determine the best irrigation options; for example, sprinkler irrigation in a high-heat/high-sun environment generally will lose more water to evaporation than drip irrigation.
Crops Being Planted
It is correct to assume that any type of irrigation system selected should be based on what kind of crops are being planted and their water requirements. Along with that, you have to know any special needs of the local soil and what type of agricultural irrigation system will work best for crops planted in a particular soil type. Knowing whether the crop is particularly susceptible to problems caused by incorrect irrigation – such as burning, root issues, or poor growth caused by unsuitable soil conditions – must also be known.
Water Location and Availability
Another important factor that will contribute to the success or failure of crop irrigation is the water source and its availability. Where the source is located, such as in ponds or lakes as opposed to underground wells, will determine the type of irrigation pump that should be used. When water is in low supply and conservation is a prime concern, this factor alone will dictate which irrigation system is the better choice. One other thing that must be considered when choosing an irrigation system is whether or not local water sources contain minerals or chemicals that can damage plants if sprayed directly.
While these are just some of the things to consider when selecting the right type of irrigation system for a farm, there are many other factors that can affect that choice as well, such as the size of the field to be irrigated. For the best irrigation system choice, talk to a company that offers experienced ag irrigation systems services, as they can design and install the perfect system to meet your irrigation needs!