Drip irrigation is a micro irrigation method in which the rate of water application is very low and without any pressure. i.e., drop by drop. Drip irrigation is based on the basic concept of irrigation only the roots zone of crop, rather than the entire land surface on which the crop is grown. Water flows from the emission points through the soil by capillarity and gravity. The soil moisture content of the crop root zone is maintained at near optimum level to facilitate optimum crop growth and production.
Drip irrigation is useful for fruit crops Banana, Grapes, Citrus, Pomegranate, Papaya, Pineapple, Watermelon, Sweet lime, Mango.
Advantages of Drip Irrigation in Fruits
- Increased yield
- Early maturity
- Water saving
- Fertilizer saving
- Increased fertilizer use efficiency by crop
- Energy saving
- Labor saving
- Marginal land & undulated land can be irrigated
- Use of saline water is possible for irrigation
- Reduced weed growth
- Less problem of disease and pest
- Easy intercultural operations
- High cost: drip irrigation systems are expensive because of their requirements of large quantity of piping & filtration equipment to clean the water.
- Expense: Initial cost can be more than overhead systems.
- Waste: The sun can affect the tubes used for drip irrigation, shortening their usable life. Longevity is variable.
- Clogging: If the water is not properly filtered and the equipment not properly maintained, it can result in clogging.
- Drip tape causes extra cleanup costs after harvest. You’ll need to plan for drip tape winding, disposal, recycling or reuse.
This method is not suitable for closely planted crops such as wheat
Components of Drip Irrigation System
- Pumping set: To create a pressure about 2.5 Kg/sq. cm to regulate the amount of water to be supplied.
- Filter: To filter the water in Order to remove the suspended impurities from water.
- Main lines: It is a Distribution system in drip irrigation. Rigid PVC and high-density polyethylene pipes are used as main pipes to minimized corrosion and clogging.
- Pipes of 65 mm diameter and with pressure rating of 4 to 10 kg/sq. cm
- Sub Main: It is usually connected to the main lines through a control valve assembly. The function of its to distributes water uniformly to a number laterals.
- Drippers/emitters: It is fitted to a drip irrigation lateral and intended to emit water in the form of drops or continuous flow at emitter rates not exceeding 15 liters/hr.
- Drippers function as energy dissipated, reducing the inlet pressure head in the lateral, which generally range from 0.3 to 1.5 atmosphere.
Drip irrigation system is an economical and very efficient system of irrigating for fruit crops, vegetables, row crops etc. Drip irrigated crops use less water compared to overhead irrigated crops. Drip irrigation increase yield.
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