What are different types of irrigation methods?
Please refer our post on different methods of irrigation – how to irrigate your crops with different methods of irrigation?
What is Sprinkler Method of Irrigation?
Sprinkler irrigation is a method of applying irrigation water which is similar to natural rainfall
In this, Water is conveyed under desired pressure (2 to 5 kg/cm2) developed by a pump through a network of pipes, called mainlines and submains.
Then from mainlines amd sub mainlines to one or more laterals and is sprayed in to the air through sprinkler nozzles or perforations
The water breaks up in to small water drops (0.5 to 4mm in size) which fall over the land or crop surface in an uniform pattern at a rate (0.06-5000 LPH) less than the infiltrability of soil
The pump supply system, sprinklers and operating conditions must be designed to enable a uniform application of water
How is sprinkler irrigation system classified?
Irrigation systems may be classified as portable, semiportable, semipermanent or permanent
They are also classified as set-move (hand-move, tow-move, side-roll and gun-type systems), solid-set or continuous move sprinkler (center-pivot, traveler and linear-move) systems
What are the components of Sprinkler System?
A typical sprinkler irrigation system consists of the following –
mainline & submainlines,
bends, tees, reducers, end plug, nipples, flanges etc
The pump unit is usually a centrifugal pump which takes water from the source and provides adequate pressure for delivery into the pipe system
Which crops are suitable for irrigation with sprinkler method?
Suitable crops Sprinkler irrigation is suited for most field crops viz., wheat, lucerne, groundnut, bengal gram, green gram, black gram, potato, leafy vegetables, sunflower, barley, bajra, maize, wheat etc wherein water can be sprayed over the crop canopy
However, large sprinklers are not recommended for irrigation of delicate crops such as lettuce because the large water drops produced by the sprinklers may damage the crop.
Water containing specific ions such as sodium and chlorides in concentration of more than 3 meq/litre are not suitable for irrigation by overhead sprinklers
What are the advantages and disadvantages of sprinkler irrigation system?
a) Elimination of field channels and their maintenance, which increase the production area
b) Harmful ditch weeds, which have allelopethic effects, do not appear with sprinkler irrigation
c) No water losses in conveyance, which amounts to 35% in surface irrigation methods
d) Close control over water application i.e., no runoff losses because water is applied below or equal to infiltration rate
e) Convenient for giving light and frequent irrigations
f) Higher application efficiency over surface methods of irrigation
g) Sprinklers give a gentle rain that does not clog or compact the soil ensuring better and quicker germination of seeds resulting in more plants per unit area
h) Suitable in undulated lands, soils with shallow depth and areas located at higher elevation than the water source
i) Feasibility of frequent, short water applications for germination, cooling & frost protection to plants, etc
j) Higher yield and water saving over surface irrigation methods
a) Uneven distribution of water due to high wind velocities particularly during summer season
b) Higher evaporation losses when operating under high temperatures
c) Mechanical difficulties such as sprinklers fail to rotate, nozzles may clog, couplers may leak or engine may require repair
d) Initial investment and recurrent operating costs are much higher than in surface irrigation methods
e) Moving the portable lines, when the soil is wet results in the destruction of soil structure
f) Use of saline water for irrigation is not possible since it will be harmful to crops
g) Higher water pressure required hence extra energy cost
Further readings and references
Handbook of Agriculture