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Sprinkler Irrigation: Why Successful Farmers Use It

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-03-31      Origin: Site

Sprinkler irrigation was initially invented for home lawn care and garden water use.Even today, the rhythmic ‘chk-chk-chk’ sound of an impact sprinkler is iconoclastic of hot summer days, green lawns, and children playfully cooling off in lawn sprinklers.But while spray irrigation technology was originally about personal use, it is such helpful technology that it was rapidly adopted into agriculture as one of the most common types of irrigation systems.Farmers quickly recognized the advantages of reliable, high-pressure water delivery for their watering systems.So,what do farmers today need to know when it comes to sprinkler irrigation systems?

What Is Sprinkler Irrigation? Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation is any irrigation that uses a pressurized system to apply water in a method that mimics rainfall to the soil surface.

Water is delivered to a farmer’s fields through a network of pipes or hoses, and the water is usually pressurized using a pumping system. Irrigation sprinkler systems may be temporary, movable or permanent.According to the 2018 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report "Field Irrigation and Opening.Sprinkler irrigation is widely used because it is versatile, suitable for almost all crops, and affordable. But it's not a perfect irrigation system.Sprinkler irrigation is one of the least efficient irrigation methods, wasting approximately 30% to 50% of the water used through runoff and evaporation.Only flood irrigation is a more likely inefficient method of irrigating crops while systems such as drip and subsurface irrigation use less water to achieve effective application rates.This is an important consideration as, worldwide, farmers grapple with increasingly severe droughts, higher temperatures, and growing populations that deplete the planet's finite water resources, resulting in water constraints for agriculture.According to a recently published study,water scarcity is expected to become a more serious problem on more than 80% of the world's farmland by 2050.

As farmers plan their future, carefully considering the types of irrigation systems they use and exploring ways to maximize the efficiency of the systems they install is becoming an increasingly important component of successful farm management.

The Difference Between Spray and Sprinkler Irrigation

Many farmers wonder what the difference is between spray and sprinkler irrigation systems.The answer is nothing. It is just different terminology for the same irrigation system.We will use the terms sprinkler and spray irrigation interchangeably for this report.

The History of the Sprinkler

Agricultural sprinkler systems began with the American desire to have a lush, green lawn.Joseph Lessler of Buffalo, New York, invented the first sprinkler in 1871. Lessler described his invention as a “portable water fountain and sprinkler,” and it was billed as a way to save time on lawn care by eliminating the need to water a yard manually.This new way of delivering water in a manner replicating rain had apparent implications for farmers.By 1932 the impact sprinkler head, which distributed even more water over a wider area, was invented by a California fruit farmer.In time, other technology in sprinkler systems like oscillating sprinklers, pop-up risers on timers, and agricultural-specific advancements like center pivot systems and low-pressure micro-sprinklers would give farmers many options in spray irrigation systems.


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