What Irrigation Systems Are Available for Farmers?

Posted on: 30 November 2021

If you've decided to join the army of Australian farmers providing food for the nation, you may want to re-purpose some fields to grow crops. While you will have to prepare the ground carefully so that you can sew your seeds according to best practices, you'll certainly want to ensure that they grow and flourish. In this case, irrigation must be front and centre in your mind, and you'll want to know about the different approaches available to you. What options should you consider?

Chasing Consistency

As you know, the supply of rainwater is anything but reliable. You could face extended periods of drought on the one hand or a deluge on the other, and you can't really rely on mother nature to help you maximise your yield. In this situation, you will need to find out how much moisture the crop in question requires and choose from one of the established irrigation systems as you pursue reliability.

Drip Irrigation

Many crops, including some fruits and high-value vegetables, would be best served by drip irrigation. Here, you have to introduce a lattice of small diameter tubes set above ground, and they will need to be precisely placed. Tiny holes along the tube will drop a small amount of water towards the roots of each crop.

These systems are designed to promote steady growth while reducing any soil erosion that could lead to a loss of nutrients. Waste is eliminated or kept to an absolute minimum, and this approach will use far less water than any other system.

Furrow Irrigation

Alternatively, you could choose a flood irrigation approach. Small water channels are created across the field with ridges in between. You need to grow the crops on those ridges and in between the channels. Carefully grade the furrows so that they follow a gradual slope. Then, supply water through PVC piping across the head of the field and make sure that there is a tiny opening at the start of each furrow. You can adjust the size of the hole, also sometimes known as a gate, which will determine how much water flows into that furrow.

This approach is great for corn or soybean, and it will typically result in a high yield. It's also very precise, and you'll be saving not just a precious resource but money as well.

Getting Advice

There are several other forms of irrigation available for farmers in this situation. Talk with an irrigation installation service and tell them what types of crop you have in mind. They will advise you on how to proceed and help you to set everything up.


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