Drip irrigation (micro-irrigation) is an irrigation method that allows precisely controlled application of water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly near the plant roots through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. Plasticulture is the combined use of drip irrigation, polyethylene mulch and raised beds. Greatest productivity and earliness may be achieved in vegetable production by combining plasticulture.
Advantages of drip irrigation
- Reduced water use
- Joint management of irrigation and fertilization.
- Weed and disease problems may be reduced.
- Low pumping needs: Drip systems require low operating pressure (20–25 psi at field entrance, 10–12 psi at the drip tape) compared to overhead systems (50–80 psi).
- Easy Automation: Drip-irrigation application can be easily managed and programmed with an AC- or battery-powered controller, thereby reducing labour cost.
- Combined with raised beds, polyethylene mulch, and transplants, drip irrigation enhances earliness and crop uniformity.
- Using of polyethylene mulch increases the cleanliness of harvested products and reduces the risk of contamination with soil-borne pathogens.
Disadvantages of drip irrigation
- Drip irrigation requires high initial investment
- Drip irrigation requires regular maintenance and high-quality water
- Drip tubing may be lifted by wind or may be displaced by animals unless the drip tape is covered with mulch, fastened with wire anchor pins, or lightly covered with soil.
- Drip lines can be easily cut or damaged by other farming operations, such as tilling, transplanting, or manual weeding with a hoe.
Fertigation is the application of fertilizer with irrigation water. Fertigation permits the farmer to easily apply nutrients throughout the season. The unit consists of
- Hydro cyclone Filter
- Disc filter
- Pressure gauge
- Air release valve
- Fertilzer tank