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Agricultural Irrigation

WHAT IS SPRINKLER IRRIGATION METHOD?

Spraying water at a certain pressure and a certain angle through nozzles , and then letting it fall by its own weight in tiny droplets on the soil and plant is called "Sprinkler Irrigation".
It gives a natural rain effect.
Sprinkler irrigation can be used in any soil condition, on slopes, flat lands and almost on any types of plants conveniently.

CONDITIONS OF USING SPRINKLER IRRIGATION METHOD

Sprinkler irrigation systems need less irrigation water  then surface irrigaiton systems, if they are operated properly. They are more usefull especially on rough lands with slopes and higher penetration rates for irrigating plants with shallow roots.
Sprinkler irrigation method requires a certain amount of initial investment and energy costs. Using this method will develop an increase in the number of agricultural products that compensates such costs.

OPERATING SYSTEMS OF SPRINKLER IRRIGATION METHODS

Portable Systems
Pump unit, main pipe and laterals are portable in this system.

Semi Portable Systems
Pump unit and main pipeline are fixed, and laterals are portable in this
system.

Non-portable (Fixed) Systems
Pump, main pipe, and laterals are fixed in this system.

Sprinkler irrigation methods are widely preferred, where labor is expensive,
because they require less labor. Semi-portable and fully fixed systems are
preferred more and more in nowadays, because labor costs are constantly
increasing.

Main components such as pipelines, and sprinkler heads of sprinkler
irrigation systems have been significantly changed recently. The cost has
been lowered, and the system has become practical thus, their use is
generalized. Sprinkler heads are of greatest importance in sprinkler irrigation
system. High capacity sprinkler heads (Big Guns) with high wetting capacity
are widely preferred. These are very good at medium and high operating
pressures. Low pressure applications may damage delicate plants. Nozzle
diameters of medium size sprinkler heads are ranged between 8 to 12mm,
and their wetting diameters between 15 to 25 mm. Such heads are widely
used in the irrigation of field crops, vegetable gardens and orchards. Nozzle
diameters of large size sprinkler heads can be ranged between 12 to 28mm,
and wetting diameter between 25 to 55mm. Such heads are mainly used in
the irrigation of field crops by medium and large sized enterprises.

Operating pressure is the pressure required at the nozzle. Losses due to
leakage and friction can be controlled by calculating the pressure differences
between the manometers at the pump outlet and the distant sprinkler head.
Valves can be installed at the beginnings of lateral pipelines, in systems the
main pipelines, of which are embedded in the ground. In addition to these,
connection pieces such as T, bend, reduction, and pipe stopper are also
used. Saving energy or using more sprinkler heads with the same energy is
possible by using pipes with the largest possible diameters, minimizing
friction loss.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT SPRINKLER IRRIGATION METHOD

     The information needed for designing sprinkler irrigation projects:
Field moisture capacity
Plants use the water, the quantity of which is ranged between the
field moisture capacity and permanent wilting point, available in
soil. This moisture is called “field moisture capacity” or “useful
capacity”. This depends on the nature of the soil. Soil analysis
and infiltration tests are required for once. The data obtained can
be used for years unless the properties of the soil are changed.
Effective Rooting Depth of Plants
The depth of rooting at which plants extract 80% of the water
they require for normal development is called “Effective Rooting
Depth”. This figure usually within the range of 30 to 180cm gives
the depth to be charged by the irrigation, depending on the type of
plant.
Irrigation water needed for crops
Water consumption of plants is low at the beginning of the growth
season.               It gradually grows towards the maximum
surface soil level, and reaches at its maximum. Thus, plants are
irrigated less frequently at the beginning, and more frequently
when the water consumption is at maximum. Sprinkler irrigation
projects are designed considering the highest water consumption
of the plant. There are many methods used for determining plant
water consumption.
Soil Water Intake (Infiltration) Rates
Knowing soil infiltration rates is important in irrigation. The rate
of infiltration is affected by soil characteristics, quantity of organic
materials, moisture, vegetation cover, slope, irrigation method
used, firming and cracking, and type sand quantities of minerals.
Cylindrical in filtrometer sare used for calculating soil water in
take rate through in filtration tests. The figure obtained is very
important in determining the suitable sprinkler head and nozzle.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SPRINKLER IRRIGATION

      Advantages of Sprinkler Irrigation
Efficient use of water. Water is utilized highly at places where irrigation water
supplies are low.
Irrigation can be possible on sloped land types with irregular shapes
(topography) without causing erosion.
Eliminates the condition, in which due to soil formation the plant cannot reach
to soil surface during germination period.
Economized operating expenses and labor.
The most suitable irrigation for shallow, permeable soil with low depth.
Salt particles carried by the wind and accumulated on the plants at sea sides,
dust and harmful insects can be washed off by sprinkler irrigation.
The most suitable irrigation type, where water table is high and drainage is a
problem, as the water flow can be controlled in sprinkler irrigation.
There is no need for field ditches thus, the number agricultural areas are
increased, and agricultural enterprises are easily operated.
Soluble artificial fertilizers can be delivered to plants with irrigation water, no
need for any labor.
Eliminates field contouring expenses thus, provides saving in time and energy.
      Disadvantages:
Initial cost is high especially for fixed systems.
Winds have negative effects on water distribution. Irrigation should be
preferably carried on early in the morning or at around sunset time, when it is
less windy.
Pressure requires power. This means spending energy, and expense.
Learning the advantages of using sprinkler irrigation makes it more and more
preferable.

POINTS TO REMEMBER IN OPERATING AND MAINTAINING SPRINKLER IRRIGATION SYSTEM

A pressure test should be conducted before covering the pipes in fixed and semi-fixed irrigation systems.
In fixed and semi-fixed systems, pipes are buried in the ground to a minimum depth of 50cm where winters are mild, and to a minimum depth of 80cm where winters are heavy.
Proper grounding is a must, if the motor is electrically driven.
Attention should be paid to power lines in order not to touch them when carrying pipes.
The system is first operated at a lower flow rate, filling laterals and intermediate pipes with water, and then the pipeline should be washed by opening the pipe stopper for a short while.
A filter should be installed at pump suction pipe for keeping foreign materials away and nozzles unclogged.
Rotation of laterals must be planned.
For optimum sprinkler distribution, laterals should be well positioned according to the wind direction.
Rubber grease or similar materials should be used on pipes and sprinkler heads for lubrication.
In fixed systems, pipelines should be discharged at season ends.


IRRIGATE FOR YOUR FUTURE