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Advantages and methods of the sprinkler irrigation

Advantages and methods of the sprinkler irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation is a method of irrigating crops using a pipeline with pressure nozzles that disperse water droplets evenly onto the field. It is an advanced mechanical and semi-mechanical method of watering that is widely used in many developed countries.

The main advantages of sprinkler irrigation are as follows

  • Significant water-saving effect, with water utilization rates of up to 80%. In general, one cubic meter of water used in sprinkler irrigation is equivalent to two cubic meters of water used in traditional surface irrigation.

  • Increased crop yields by 20-40%. This is due to the additional seed area gained (15-20%) when eliminating the need for farm ditches, water channels, and ridges. In addition, uniform watering keeps the soil from hardening, supports timely seasonal crops, and improves the small microclimate and agricultural ecological environment in the field.

  • Greatly reduces the workload of constructing and maintaining field ditches and water channels, as well as leveling the land.

  • Reduces the costs and labor required for irrigation, increasing farmer income.

  • Facilitates the realization of agricultural mechanization, industrialization, and modernization.

  • Prevents soil secondary salinization caused by excessive irrigation. The most common sprinkler types include pipeline, translation, center pivot, reel, and light small machine sets.

There are different sprinkler irrigation methods

Mobile pipe sprinkler

The main supply pipe is typically buried underground, while the field support pipe and nozzle can be disassembled, moving and re-used, ultimately reducing the investment cost.

Practice has shown that mobile pipe sprinkler irrigation is not only reliable, but simple in design, affordable, adapts to various field sizes and shapes, convenient for smallholder or multiple households, and is suitable for large and small field crops and vegetable. It typically costs 200-250 RMB per acre.

Fixed pipe sprinkler

In this method, the pipe and nozzle are fixed in the field, which is more efficient and easier to manage and is suitable for irrigation of vegetables, fruit trees, and cash crops. However, the investment cost is greater (generally around 1000 RMB per acre) and not conducive to mechanized farming.

Center pivot and translation sprinkler machines

These machines can only move within a predetermined range, free of high obstacles or terrain, and require level ground. They have high levels of mechanization and automation, suitable for large-scale farms and highly scaled farmland management.

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