Irrigation systems are a critical part of most farming operations, both in the U.S. and across the world. Yet the idea of irrigation is not new; it goes back to the times of ancient Egypt, Greece, and other places where crops were grown in less hospitable climates. Even then, people knew that irrigation was essential to the growth of their food, a fact that has not changed in today's world. Ag irrigation systems are more important than ever before to deliver vital water to planted fields as well as for many other practical purposes.
Irrigation - Basic Advantages
Unless plants have enough water to survive, they wither and die and do not produce any crops to be harvested. In this sense, the main advantage of irrigation systems is to deliver life-sustaining water to plants in areas that lack adequate water. Currently, as much as 95 percent of the world’s farmland is irrigated because the areas where crops are grown either do not get enough rainfall or lack access to natural bodies of water. Delivering water to these otherwise unproductive fields makes it possible to grow food even in the most unwelcoming regions of the globe.
Irrigation - Other Less Obvious Advantages
Through the use of ag irrigation systems, a number of other important benefits are gained, all arising from the ability to control the delivery of water to crops. Following are some of the benefits:
Monitoring Plant Growth - Putting water where needed most gives growers the ability to specifically monitor field growth and ensure that plants receive enough water to produce the best yield. This type of efficiency leads to greater production and lower costs and is more environmentally-friendly.
Monitoring Water Consumption - The amount of water used to irrigate fields can provide growers wiith helpful operational information, including any irrigation inefficiency. By monitoring water consumption, plant growth, and plant production, growers can reduce consumption with better irrigation practices.
Reducing Plant Loss - With proper irrigation practices, growers can gain increased crop yield and prevent plant loss. Plant death from poor or inadequate irrigation costs a producer in reduced yield, increased work, and increased seed cost, all of which is counterproductive to increased yield.
Reducing Growing Costs - When the cost of seed, labor, water, water delivery systems, and the energy to run such irrigation systems are added together, it becomes apparent that efficient irrigation methods save money. More importantly, water waste is prevented by allowing growers to deliver water exactly where it is needed, in the right amounts, and reduce environmental costs.
Irrigation involves more than simply watering plants. Water control yields an ability to monitor plant growth water use, and crop yield, which are essential benefits to be gained when using ag irrigation systems. Without modern irrigation systems, growing crops is a much less productive endeavor. This makes investment in an appropriate irrigation system an essential part of modern crop production by proving the control and results necessary for efficient farming!