When using drip irrigation systems, water conservation and overall efficiency are two key elements that should be considered whenever planning out an efficient system.
Both center pivot and in-line drip irrigation systems offer their own advantages; when combined, those advantages are multiplied.
Depending on the crop, a precision mobile drip irrigation system could be a highly effective setup for increased yield with reduced water usage.
What Is A Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation System?
Precision mobile drip irrigation or PMDI is an irrigation system that combines the more effective application method of drip irrigators with the efficiency of a standard center pivot system.
Sold by irrigation services that deal in center pivot systems, PMDI systems use hanging drip nozzles in place of the usual spray nozzles found on standard center pivot systems.
Drip nozzles are equipped with drag lines that apply water directly onto the ground and can be adjusted along the pivot arm to add more or fewer drips based on plant needs, soil composition, and other factors in keeping the soil moist.
Important Benefits Gained Using PMDI Systems
PMDI systems take the efficiency of both standard center pivot and drip irrigation system designs and combines them, providing an excellent solution for a number of common issues seen with traveling and center pivot irrigators:
- Water Efficiency - Because these drip irrigation systems deliver water right onto the ground close to the base of the plants where it can be more easily absorbed by the roots, the amount of moisture lost to evaporation and wind drift is minimal.
- Higher Yield - With more water absorbed by the ground and roots, plant growth is more easily controlled which produces higher yields and healthier plants using less water and fertilizers.
- Dry Wheel Tracks - Standard center pivot systems have nozzles that spray ahead of the wheels which leads to the formation of damaging wheel ruts; with PMDI systems, the drips hang down and drag behind the wheels, applying water right at the soil next to the plant and out of the wheel track.
- Shorter Irrigation Seasons - If the soil has been kept consistently moist and there is enough natural precipitation, irrigation can be discontinued sooner to reduce costs even more.
All benefits considered, precision mobile drip irrigation design has improved irrigation efficiency to as much as 95% for some farmers, increasing their yield substantially over using a standard center pivot or in-line mobile setup.
A Final Look At Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation Systems
For those using center pivot systems, a PMDI system can fulfill the goal of maximum yields through irrigation while also reducing water use and other costs.
By applying water directly onto the ground between rows of plants, problems such as evaporation, wind drift, tire ruts, and other common issues associated with standard center pivot or in-line systems can be eliminated.
They can be purchased as complete systems or existing center pivot systems can be modified.