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When would I want to use sub-surface drip irrigation versus regular drip irrigation?

WP Law - Monday, January 19, 2015

Factors to consider when choosing methods of irrigation.

Plants with Irrigation System

When it comes to improving the efficiency and the usage of drip irrigation, we find that sub-surface drip irrigation offers several advantages over a standard drip irrigation system in certain situations. Although both systems will use intermittent drips to maximize the use of water in agriculture, the sub-surface system can sometimes help with cost reduction and higher profits.

Higher levels of efficiency in open fields

When the irrigation system is below the surface, the surface of the coil remains dry. This will reduce the amount of water that is lost because of evaporation and runoff. This is even true early in the season when the threat of evaporation increases because of the bare soil. This will allow you to reduce the amount of water waste, which will in turn reduce your costs associated with producing the crops.

Sub-surface systems also operate with smaller flow rates than surface systems. Although the overall energy consumption of the system will depend upon factors such as flow rates, pumping depth, and pressure, a well-designed system should be able to help you reduce the energy needed to operate the system. This will further reduce your production costs.

Impact on labor for large operations

According to the University of Nebraska, the amount of labor associated running and maintaining a sub-surface drip irrigation system is less than a surface system.

Sub-surface systems reduce the growth of weeds, especially in areas that are generally drier. This is particularly true for weeds that have shallow roots, since these roots will not reach the water source below the surface. This will reduce the work that needs to be done in the field and can potentially lead to higher crop yields at the end of the season.

There are considerable advantages associated with daily field maintenance tasks. When the surface of the soil remains drier, agricultural equipment will be able to work in the field even when the plants are being watered. This can help reduce downtime and help the farm run more efficiently. Higher efficiency will reduce labor costs, saving you money.

The sub-surface irrigation system can offer considerable benefits for those in agriculture. The water efficiency and the impact on labor make it possible for owners to recuperate their initial investments quickly while also improving the overall function of their farms. If you are interested in learning more about how one of these systems can help you, contact us at WP Law, Inc for a consultation. We would be happy to help answer any questions you have.

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