Micro Irrigation System

Micro Irrigation : The conventional method of Water Conveyance and Application, being highly inefficient, leads not only in wastage of water but also to the problems like water-logging, salinity and soil degradation. In the quest to save water, it has been recognized that use of modern irrigation methods like Micro irrigation methods apply water without much loss can irrigate 1.5 to 3.0 times more area as compared to flooding for the same time. These methods are the best alternative for efficient use of surface as well as ground water resources. Micro Irrigation includes mainly Drip Irrigation and Sprinkler Irrigation.

A) Drip Irrigation system : Drip Irrigation technology involves irrigating root zone through emitters fitted on a lateral tube as well as inserted within the tubing as emitting pipe. The use of different emitters will depend upon specific requirements, which may vary from crop to crop. Types of drip irrigation systems include on-line & in-line drip irrigation systems. Water requirement, age of plant, plant to plant spacing, soil type, water quality and availability etc are some of the factors which decide the choice of emitting system. The unit cost of Drip Irrigation system varies with respect to plant spacing and location of the water source. It is mandatory to use a fertigation device by the farmers such as venturi injector or fertilizer tank.

B) Sprinkler Irrigation : In sprinkler irrigation, water is discharged under pressure in the air through a set of nozzles attached to a network of High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) or Aluminium pipes, simulating the rainfall. Sprinkler irrigation systems are suitable for irrigating crops where the plant density is very high. It is widely used for cereals, pulses, seeds, spices and field crops. The sprinkler irrigation systems may be Micro Sprinklers, Mini Sprinklers, Portable Sprinklers, Large Volume Sprinkler systems (Rain Guns) or Semi-permanent Sprinklers.

  • Micro Sprinkler Irrigation System: Micro Sprinklers are mostly used for irrigating leafy vegetables, nurseries, hardening of seedlings and a few vegetables. Apart from providing irrigation, the micro sprinkler also helps in changing the micro climatic conditions near the plant. Micro sprinklers are low radius sprinklers. The selection of micro sprinklers depends on the type of crop, soil, types, etc.
  • Mini Sprinkler Irrigation System: They are commonly used for close growing crops like groundnut, potato, onion, ginger, short statured fodder crops, etc. Mini sprinklers are also suitable for frost protection.
  • Portable Sprinkler Irrigation System: In portable sprinkler irrigation systems the HDPE pipes are used for mains and sub-mains which can be shifted from one place to another as per the irrigation schedule with respect to design layout. These can be used in both, plains as well as in undulating terrains.
  • Large Volume Sprinkler Irrigation System (Rain Gun): Large volume sprinkler irrigation systems (Rain Guns) are used where larger areas are to be covered with one or two sprinklers. These sprinklers have a discharge ranging from 10,000 lph to 32,000 lph and radius of throw from 24 m to 36 m. These systems require high pressure and high discharge pipes & pumps to operate them. These are preferred for irrigating crops spread over large areas in short time.
  • Semi-permanent Sprinkler Irrigation System: In Semi-Permanent Sprinkler System, the piping network for main line and lateral lines are permanently buried with risers fitted on the lateral lines. The sprinkler nozzles are fitted on each riser pipe and can be easily shifted from one place to another to irrigate the required area in shifts as per the irrigation schedule or the crop water requirement.

Intended Benefits of Micro Irrigation :Technological innovations must be exploited to achieve the twin objectives of higher crop productivity and optimal use of water. Effective utilization of every drop of available water through adoption of latest technology like Micro Irrigation shall not only save valuable water resources but also help in improving crop yields to augment production of agriculture & horticulture crops. This shall also help in boosting the economy of the State and improving the socio-economic conditions of the farmers. Major benefits of adopting Intelligent Irrigation are listed below:

  • ✓ Better On-farm Water Use Efficiency;
  • ✓ 50% to 80% Saving of precious surface and sub-surface water resource;
  • ✓ Reduced ground water withdrawal;
  • ✓ Increased crop productivity;
  • ✓ Improved quality of horticulture & agriculture produce;
  • ✓ Conservation of available water and its sustainable use;
  • ✓ Saving cost of power and diesel;
  • ✓ Saving in labour expenses;
  • ✓ Better fertilizer use efficiency;
  • ✓ Check on spread of diseases & pests among plants.

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