The Basics of Precision Irrigation in Agriculture
Since people began farming, the most pursued idea in agriculture is how to get more out of arable land while making work easier.
However, many methods developed are harsh to the environment and have contributed to over-watering, prompting environmentalists to call for other ways to achieve sustainable and high-yield agriculture.
Leading agronomists hail precision irrigation as the ultimate solution. The method relies on modern infrastructure that supplies ample water to crops without wasting it.
Here's everything you need to know about precision irrigation.
What Is Precision Irrigation?
Precise irrigation is a method used to water and supply crops with nutrients at a scheduled time, at the right place, and in sufficient quantity to promote yields. This method targets the roots to minimize water wastage.
Types of Precision Irrigation
Farmers using precision irrigation will apply one of these precision irrigation methods depending on the type of soil they're dealing with:
This method is by far the best in water conservation. Several drip lines run through the field that’s organized into rows, allowing water to drip onto the plants' roots at the right amount and time. This method also supports fertigation –adding fertilizer to an irrigation system.
Subsurface Drip Irrigation
Subsurface drip irrigation works the same way as drip irrigation, but the lines and emitters are installed beneath the ground.
Micro-sprinklers are similar to drip irrigation but are designed for small areas. They spray water in a circular pattern and can be used in orchards or row crops.
Benefits of Precision Irrigation
Precision irrigation systems are designed to deliver water to specific locations on the farm in a controlled manner, which can help you optimize yields and improve profits. These systems offer many benefits to farmers, including:
- Reducing Excessive Water Use
Too much water is bad for the environment and damages crops. Too little water deprives them of nutrients that help them grow. Statistics show precision irrigation reduces farm water use by up to 25%.
- Improved Productivity
Precision irrigation has been proven to improve yields by 8%. While traditional irrigation pours water around the plant denying the roots most of it, precision irrigation channels it directly to the roots of the plant. This way, farmers can keep their crops watered in all seasons.
- Better Quality Yields
Precision irrigation meets a crop's particular needs at its different growth stages. This way, the fruit tastes better, can be stored for longer without spoiling, and withstands disease better, increasing its quality.
- Helps with Environmental Policies Compliance
New environmental policies demand sustainable farming methods to reduce water consumption while increasing yields to support the ever-increasing world population. Precision irrigation enables the agricultural industry to comply with both requirements by demonstrating sustainable practices and with the right technology, being able to accurately report on water consumption.
- Reducing Manual Labor
Automated precision irrigation decreases the need for employing more workers on large farms. For example, flow sensors replace the need for manual inspections and can alert operators to areas in need of maintenance.
The Key Takeaway
There's a big difference between working hard and working smart. Precision irrigation enables farmers to work smart and let technology and equipment work hard. The result is more sustainability, moving closer to eradicating food insecurity, and earning more from farming.Lumo is a smart irrigation technology built for precision irrigation systems. It enables remote monitoring and control of your irrigation system, and you never have to worry about over-water or under-watering your crops again. To learn more, request a demo here or contact us at [email protected]