Distinguishing Drip Irrigation from Sprinkler Irrigation

Drip Irrigation vs Sprinkler Irrigation

There are two main types of agriculture systems based on the source of water supply: rain fed agriculture and irrigated agriculture. Rain fed agriculture is entirely dependent on rainfall, whereas irrigated agriculture requires an artificial water supply for irrigation. Irrigation systems are utilized in commercial agriculture to provide adequate moisture content to crops. These systems can be classified in several ways, but they are primarily categorized into surface irrigation systems and localized irrigation systems. Surface irrigation systems are mainly used in traditional agriculture, while localized systems are employed in developed commercial agriculture. Two well-known localized irrigation methods are drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation.

What is drip irrigation?

Drip irrigation is a widely used localized irrigation system, also known as trickle or micro irrigation. This system consists of a network of pipelines and valves that allow water to drip directly onto the plant root zone. Unnecessary areas of the cultivation are not wetted by this method, reducing water loss due to evaporation and leaking. The valve size, pipe diameter, and flow rate are determined by considering the water requirement at specific times and depending on the crop. Drip irrigation has several advantages over other irrigation methods like flood and sprinkler systems. Not only is water supplied through this system, but soluble fertilizer and chemicals (pesticides, cleaning agents) can also be applied to the crop by dissolving in irrigated water. The required amount of water and fertilizer can be pre-estimated, minimizing losses. This method also prevents the spread of waterborne diseases. Drip irrigation is widely used in areas where water scarcity is a significant problem and is beneficial in commercial agricultural systems such as greenhouses, containerized plants, coconut cultivation, and landscaping purposes.

What is sprinkler irrigation?

Sprinkler irrigation is another localized method of supplying water for agricultural crops and landscaping plants. It is also used as a cooling system or a prevention method for airborne dust. This system consists of pipelines, spray guns, and spray nozzles. The gun rotates in a circle, utilizing the power of the spraying water. As a localized irrigation method, it has many advantages compared to surface irrigation. Although water loss is significantly less than surface irrigation, it is somewhat higher than drip irrigation. Additionally, spraying water all over the field may contribute to the spread of some plant diseases and favor an increase in the pest population.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • Drip irrigation uses dripping valves to wet only the root area, while sprinkler irrigation uses spray guns and nozzles to wet a circular area covering several plants.
  • Drip irrigation prevents the spread of waterborne diseases, while sprinkler irrigation does not.
  • Runoff and evaporation are higher in the sprinkler method than drip irrigation, making drip irrigation more effective and efficient than the sprinkler method.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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