Irrigation System Selection Guide
Are you in the market for an irrigation system for your rural farm?
Even though rainwater alone may not be sufficient to meet your agricultural needs, choosing the right irrigation system can be confusing with all the different types and versions of irrigation systems available today.
You can increase your chance of buying the right irrigation system by knowing what to look at when exploring your options. Here are a few key variables to consider when determining which irrigation system matches your needs.
1. The type of crop you grow
Different crops have different watering needs, with each requiring a certain amount of water at certain time intervals to grow healthy and produce high yields. The good news is that various irrigation systems deliver water at different flow rates. Matching your irrigation system to your crop's watering needs helps maximise crop production.
Applying too little water leads to poor harvests. On the other hand, releasing too much water too often wastes precious water, energy and money, resulting in higher production costs.
2. The topography of your land
Are you irrigating on a slope or flat land? The slope of your land can also influence the type of irrigation system you should use.
When irrigating on hilly terrain, you need an irrigation system that can slowly release water into the soil to minimise the risk of erosion. A drip irrigation system can work well. On the other hand, a sprinkler system lends itself well to irrigating on flat land, as the water can reach as far as possible without risking run-off.
3. The type of soil you have
Different soils have varying water-holding capacities, with clayey and sandy soils having the highest and lowest water-holding potential, in that order.
Due to their fine-textured particles, clay soils become sticky when wet and may not provide adequate drainage for crop development. To keep the soil from becoming waterlogged, you may need an irrigation system that discharges water to your plants in small doses.
On the flip side, sandy soils drain water faster than most other soil types and may require an irrigation system that releases water as quickly as it drains off.
When it comes to irrigation systems, no particular system suits everyone. The best irrigation system for you depends on your specific situation and needs. Contact an irrigation installation professional if you are still on the fence about which irrigation system to choose.