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Sprinkler Irrigation

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Background and definition

  • Sprinkler Irrigation was the first irrigation system over flooding for mechanical spraying distribution of water using impact type metal sprinkler nozzles.
  • Initially steel & aluminum pipe were used with coupling arrangement.
  • Now a day a complete portable set of HDPE pipes with welded male & female end for quick & easy coupling is available with metal & plastic spray nozzles & accessories.
  • It can be shifted to cover required area manually.
  • It requires high pressure & water volume and better suited for close spacing field crops & sandy soil type where flood irrigation is difficult.

Benefits and limitations of sprinkler irrigation

prinkler irrigation, with its flexibility and efficient control of water application (eg center pivot and travelling gun), permits a wide range of soils and terrain to be irrigated and has facilitated changes in land use classification by increasing the land types that can be irrigated.

Advantages of sprinkler irrigation

  • Suitable for most soil types when application rates are matched to soil infiltration capacity.
  • Can be used on marginal soils such as those with low infiltration or low waterholding capacity.
  • Provides good control of water application, which can reduce vegetative growth and improve the product quality (eg. onion bulbs and taproot quality of carrots).
  • Reduces effects of wind-blown sandy soils on young crops.
  • Provides a high degree of flexibility in design and operation, and can be automated to save labour and energy expenditure.
  • Nutrients can be applied through the irrigation system (fertigation).
  • Can be used to cool the crop during heat waves, to protect against frost and to manage plant health (eg reduces the impact of Aspergillus black mould near harvest in onions).
  • Has the ability to keep soil soft for emerging seedlings with frequent short irrigations.
  • With proper drainage, sprinklers can be used efficiently to flush accumulated salts down the profile.
  • Promotes rapid germination and crop establishment.