Agricultural Irrigation Systems—Here's What You Need To Know

Irrigation is the artificial provision of water to crops through various channels, such as pipes, sprays, or farrows. Water is essential for plant growth and must be supplied adequately to ensure steady and healthy growth. Irrigation systems are the techniques that farmers employ to deliver water from different sources to their crops in the field. Farmers often obtain irrigation water from springs, wells, ponds, rivers, lakes, and dams. The amount of water, type, and duration of irrigation depends on your crop's water needs, the type of soil on your field, and the season. 

Types of irrigation systems

Agriculturalists classify irrigation systems into the following categories:

Surface irrigation

Also known as flood irrigation, this technique entails flooding cultivated fields with water and letting it get distributed on the field by gravity. Surface irrigation uses water from canals and rivers. Farmers often introduce terraces to channel the water into the field. Additionally, the land ought to slope away from the water source for the water to flow easily through the farm.  

Drip irrigation

In this system, water flows through a series of pipes lying on the ground next to the stems of the crops and percolates through the soil to the roots, where it is absorbed by the plants. These pipes are fitted with micro-sprinkler heads that emit water at intervals. Due to the pipe's small outlet structure, this irrigation type uses less water. Drip irrigation doesn't require much pressure to perform effectively. If your water has high iron content, always clean the emitters regularly to avoid clogging.

Sprinkler irrigation

This irrigation technique uses a pressurized water system to deliver water to the crops through sprinklers. It entails a connection of sprinklers to the water source using pipes. The water's high pressure makes the sprinklers rotate as they dispense water for even irrigation.

Subirrigation water system

This system entails distributing water to plants under the soil surface. That is done through a series of pipes or ditches. The water flows through the pipes continuously or at intervals to supply the plants with water. This system conserves water as it channels it directly to the plant's roots, and there is no water loss due to evaporation. 

Why you should use irrigation systems

Irrigation is essential in food production as it ensures food security. You can increase your yields through irrigation because it makes the plants healthy and fertile. Irrigation enables farmers to produce enough food to sustain the rapidly increasing population. These systems ensure that land in harsh weather conditions is used for agriculture. For example, farmers in arid areas use irrigation for food production. Irrigation techniques also facilitate water conservation because they regulate the amount of water used by crops.


When considering irrigation, contact an expert to help you assess the appropriate irrigation system suitable for your crops and the type of soil in your field. Irrigation experts also provide insight and the necessary recommendations if you want to reduce your farm's water footprint. To install an irrigation system, seek expertise from an accredited agriculturalist.

Contact a local irrigation company, such as Waterford Irrigation Supply Inc, to learn more.