Successful agriculture depends on farmers having sufficient access to water. In the middle of the last century, the common perception was that water was an infinite resource. Today, we know that water is a resource that must be managed. Understanding past practices, current water and energy issues, and developments in pump technology contributes to building pumping systems that best service the needs of modern agriculture. The agricultural market is changing rapidly, and farmers cannot rely on the technology and practices of the past.
To keep productivity high and stay competitive in the market, farmers need to focus on profitability, which includes energy optimization and better use of water resources. Pumping systems play a vital role in providing optimized solutions for energy and water use.
What Is Irrigation?
Irrigation is an artificial application of water to plant roots with the purpose of assisting the growth of agricultural crops. Fertilizer and chemicals can be added to an irrigation system. Irrigation can also play a role in frost protection.
What to Consider When Getting Water to the Crop?
Irrigation starts with sourcing water for the crop from groundwater or surface water from a channel or storage pond. Next is water treatment, if necessary, and perhaps the addition of fertilizer or chemicals. Finally, water is delivered to the crop using different techniques—such as flooding, sprinkler irrigation or drip/micro-spray applications.
Mechanized sprinkler systems are effective for covering large areas. These systems are typically attached to a pump that can supply the necessary amount of water, pressure and significantly more, as a precaution. A valve handles the excess flow and pressure.
Drip and micro-spray irrigation are used for low-pressure applications in which reducing as much potential evaporation and run-off as possible is a requirement. Keeping the pressure constant is vital to ensure uniform application throughout each zone in the system. This can be the most energy-efficient method of irrigation, if managed properly.
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