How to Choose the Right Irrigation System
If your requirements for irrigating are based off a small scale, such as a greenhouse, I would suggest a mist system or drip system. With the mist system, it lightly sprays a small amount of water over the area, in small, periodic repercussions. The mist system can be set to an automatic timer, allowing the farmer to drop the worry if they will have time to water the plants or if they can find someone to stop by and water them while they are out of town. Aside from the ease of mind and handling, they also help eliminate the loss from damping-off disease, a disease caused by various bacteria that cause the plant to weaken or even die before or after germination that is popular in cool, wet areas. It also increases a higher percentage of rooting for the plant as well. The drip system for a small scale area is preferred because it can be less expensive than other irrigation systems and it allows water and nutrients to be deposited directly to the plants’ root zone. They are also easy to install and can also be set to automatic timers.
If you want to irrigate a larger area, such as a golf course, sports field, fruit trees, or row crops I would suggest a larger scale sprinkler system, such as the Nelson Big Gun or the Rain Bird, and for those not interested in a sprinkler system, I would suggest a drip irrigation system based for a big area. As a kid, I remember my neighbor spraying his 800 plus acres with his center pivot Nelson Big Gun system. They come in a wide range of sizes, water flow amount, and projector distances. Aside from this, the farmer can decide if they want the center-pivot system, the traveler system, or the solid-set, non-moving system. As for the Rain Bird selection, it’s a basic sprinkler system used in backyards and golf courses, but can also be seen providing water to various fruit trees. It first originated from Orton Englehardt’s first prototype of the horizontal action impact sprinkler, and has continued to become more and more popular to the general public. Some farmers may prefer a drip irrigation system over a sprinkler system, based on their financial situation, the terrain of the area, or just general preference. The drip irrigation system has been used since ancient times, and the modern system we are most familiar with can date back to 1866 in Afghanistan. Overall, it has several different advantages such as, high water application efficiency, can be established on any type of terrain, reduces soil erosion, reduces weed growth, and can operate at a low, minimal pressure. It can be less expensive to install and lower the water bill and reduce wasted water by distributing it precisely and accurately at 90 percent water used effectively, whereas, the sprinkler system only has 40-75 percent of the water used effectively. The biggest selling point of the drip irrigation system is the fact that the water goes directly to the plants’ root zone. Some disadvantages with the drip system is rodent damage and the clean up of the drip tape used; however, the minimum work and the outcome of better crops, without spending as much money, can outweigh the couple of disadvantages that come with any system.
With so many systems to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming at first to figure out which to pick from, but with the specifications of your crops being planted, personal preference, and the amount of area, it can be easier to select a system best fit for your accommodations.