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Types of Irrigation – its 4 [Main Types, Advantages & Disadvantages]

Types of Irrigation

Irrigation is a process in which the watering of crops can be done and sometimes due to climate change rain can be unreliable to cultivate plants farmers rely on irrigation. Depending on factors farmers choose the type of irrigation and there are many types of irrigation.

irrigation system

There are four main types of irrigation such as;

  1. Surface Irrigation
  2. Sprinkler Irrigation
  3. Drip or trickle Irrigation
  4. Subsurface Irrigation

 Surface Irrigation System:

Surface irrigation is one of the types of irrigation and to distribute water these types of irrigation rely on gravity flow these types of irrigation are most commonly used to deliver water to the fields and are well suited to mild or regular slopes.

surface irrigation system

In soil with fine texture surface irrigation works best and it requires plenty of groundwater and an adequate workforce since it operates without the use of advanced technology under surface irrigation, there are several methods such as;

Basin Irrigation;

This is a type of surface irrigation in which the water crops of flat land are called basins and it involves flooding a flat area with water to avoid the flow of water to nearby fields the bunds help in this.

This irrigation serves crops such as rice that is in flat areas.

Furrow Irrigation;

Furrow irrigation involves the construction of parallel channels which are called furrows and by gravity that allows the water to flow to the rest of the field. For row crops this method is suitable.

Border Irrigation;

Border irrigation waters land structured as long strips with bunds separating these sloping strips and through siphons or gates water flows to these borders and this irrigation is used for large forms.

Advantages of Surface Irrigation:

There are the following advantages of surface irrigation such as;

  1. It can be used in small pieces of land and does not require advanced machinery or technology that’s why it is cost-effective.
  2. In soil, its minimum filtration rate makes leaching of salts.
  3. It is not affected by heavy rainfall and makes good use of rainwater.
Disadvantages of Surface Irrigation:

There are also some disadvantages of surface irrigation such as;

  1. Draining excess water from basins is difficult.
  2. Crops can be covered by water over long periods due to the soil’s texture and infiltration rate.
  3. Surface irrigation requires an only level and flat land.

Sprinkler Irrigation System:

By use of permanently or temporarily set tools sprinkler irrigation involves spraying crops with water and in this type, water is pumped through pipes and sprinkled on crops like raindrops. For both small and large farms sprinklers are effective and suitable for any slope. Sprinkler irrigations are also the most common type of irrigation.

Sprinkler irrigation can irrigate any field crop and row crop and this irrigation are fit for most types of soil such as the soil with high infiltration and there are two main categories of sprinklers which are called spray sprinkler and rotor sprinkler.

sprinkler irrigation system

Like shower nozzle spray head sprinkles water and depending on the size and structure of the farm sprinkler nozzle have different patterns while rotor sprinklers consist of sprinklers that spin or rotate when watering the area and on the market rotor nozzles are the latest and most popular sprinklers.

By the size of water droplets, the operating pressure and the nozzle are also determined and large drops should be avoided as they can damage the crops.

Advantages of Sprinkler Irrigation:

There are the following advantages of sprinkler irrigation such as;

  1. For any slope this irrigation is convenient and land leaving is not necessary.
  2. Operating sprinklers are easy.
  3. A skilled person is not required.
  4. Improves the quality and quantity of farms and conserves water.

Disadvantages of Sprinkler Irrigation:

There are also some disadvantages of sprinkler irrigation such as;

  1. This type of irrigation is expensive.
  2. By high temperatures and strong winds, water distribution is affected.
  3. Sprinkler irrigation consumes a lot of energy for the work.

Drip Irrigation System:

Drip irrigations are one of the types of irrigation, with small openings drip irrigation involves the use of the pipe and these small openings are called drippers and at a low rate of soil these drippers trickle water.

The soils that closely surround a plant to keep it moist, this type of irrigation is used and is appropriate for row crops and trees where each dripper supplies water and crops reach adequate water which is planted in lines along the pipes. Depending on the type of soil emitters it can be set up to drip water at different rates.

drip irrigation system

Advantages of Drip Irrigation:

There are following advantages of drip irrigation such as;

  1. Chances of weed growing are low and to each crop, water is directly applied.
  2. Drip irrigation boosts seed and yield germination.
  3. For fertilizer applications, it is very convenient.
  4. This irrigation saves water.

Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation:

There are also some disadvantages such as;

  1. Drip irrigation system set-up is very expensive.
  2. Regular cleaning of the pipes is required since emitters are prone to blockage.
  3. In water management areas, it requires skilled persons.

Subsurface Irrigation System:

From below the ground, subsurface irrigation is done such as pipes placed beneath the soil surface supply water to the roots of plants, and depending on how deep the water table lies there are various methods used for this irrigation and this is one of the types of irrigation.

In subsurface irrigation tillage methods are a significant factor and this irrigation is suitable for windy and dry areas to avoid blockage in the pipes water should be filtered.

subsurface irrigation system

On any farmable slope subsurface irrigation can be set up to water any crop and these types of irrigation are used mostly on high-value crops such as vegetables, etc.

Advantages of Subsurface Irrigation:

There are the following advantages of subsurface irrigation such as;

  1. Evaporation saves water and minimizes water loss.
  2. This irrigation allows crops to improve yield and grow uniformly.
  3. It is not labour-intensive.

Advantages of Subsurface Irrigation:

  1. Maintaining and setting up this system is expensive.
  2. This irrigation system is easily damaged by cars, tractors, and machines.
  3. In the root of the pipe, hairs can block the drippers.
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