Agricultural irrigation systems allow farmers to maintain high crop yields by predicting the water needs of different plants and ensures they receive that water.
To accurately predict water needs and set up ag irrigation systems correctly, growers must understand the concept of evapotranspiration & and how it affects their crops.
Properly set up, any system purchased from agricultural irrigation system services will perform more efficiently, resulting in less plant loss and reduced water consumption.
What Is Evapotranspiration?
When planning agricultural irrigation systems and predicting what water is needed to promote good growth without water wastage, it is essential that farmers include evapotranspiration in their planning.
Evapotranspiration is the combined process of releasing water into the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration.
By understanding both of these terms and their significance in the effectiveness of ag irrigation systems, it’s possible to increase efficiency while ensuring plant health:
- Evaporation - The process of water being evaporated from the land and into the atmosphere. In irrigation, it refers to water that is evaporated from the soil and plant leaves before it can be absorbed by the plants.
- Transpiration - The process of water being evaporated into the atmosphere after it is released in gaseous form from a plant’s stomata. Transpiration occurs in plants the way sweating occurs in humans and animals.
Importance of Evapotranspiration To Planning Crop Irrigation
System type and layout are all calculated based on the type of plant, growing conditions, and moisture requirements.
Moisture requirements will differ by plant species and soil type as well as by weather conditions and rate of evapotranspiration.
There are many things that affect the evapotranspiration rate including temperature, humidity, soil type, wind, and plant type.
As more water is lost to evapotranspiration, more must be delivered through agricultural irrigation systems to satisfy plant needs.
Increasing Irrigation Efficiency - Allow for Evapotranspiration
Unless farmers account for evapotranspiration, agricultural irrigation system services stress there is a high possibility that water need calculations will be off.
This is a potential problem effected by how different ag irrigation systems are programmed, not the systems themselves.
So the goal must always be to utilize a formula to calculate the amount of water lost to evapotranspiration, then adjust watering amounts, durations, and timing so that plants receive adequate water, not too little or too much.
Efficiency is then maintained without wasting water or preventing plants from thriving.
The Whole Picture
One of the helpful tools available to today's farmers, advanced agricultural irrigation systems let growing operations reap the most yield for the least cost.
Getting maximum performance thanks to agricultural irrigation system services requires understanding the factors that affect plant growth including evapotranspiration.
Proper calculation of actual water requirements that account for evapotranspiration will increase ag irrigation systems growing efficiency and end-of-year profits!