Types of irrigation
Irrigation is the artificial application of water to soil to provide moisture or add to soil moisture for plant growth.
There are mainly three types of irrigation which are;
Surface Irrigation is the irrigation type which involves the spread of water over the surface of the farmland by the surface itself. There are two main important points to note here. One is that the means of conveyance (that is, what is used to spread the water) is the surface of the farmland itself. The second point is that the farm must have a gentle slope for the irrigation to be effective. There are many types of surface irrigation namely;
a) basin irrigation: This type of surface irrigation involves the use of embankments to stop the flow of water at the edges. That is, the area to be irrigated is demarcated with embankments along its edges to stop the flow of water to other places other than the area to be irrigated. The water is introduced to the field and allowed to stay until it has infiltrate into the pore spaces. This type of surface irrigation is used farmland with level surfaces.
b) border irrigation: border irrigation is just like basin irrigation but it involves embankments at different slope levels on the farm. Many embankments are used to create sections along the slope of the farmland and water is introduced into each section from a water channel
furrow irrigation: this type of irrigation system introduces water in between rows or beds of crops; the exact reason why it is called furrow irrigation.
Advantages of Surface Irrigation
It is cheap to establish and maintain as no power is required to pump water nor is there a need for power to spread the water.
It is easier to construct.
It prevents the accumulation of salts
Disadvantages of surface irrigation
1) It is not suitable for all crops.
2) Sandy soil is not suitable for this type of irrigation
Subsurface irrigation is the type of irrigation systems that involves the use of perforated pipes to deliver water to the root zones of crops. This type of irrigation system ensures the efficient use of water by delivering the water in the exact place where it is needed. There is little leaching or surface run-off.
Advantages of Subsurface Irrigation
1) There is efficient use of water ( i.e. no wastage of water, the water gets to the required depth exactly where it is needed, no surface run- off)
2) This system does not cause obstruction to farm implement or machinery
Disadvantages of subsurface Irrigation
1) It is expensive to establish
2) It may lead to accumulation of salts
Overhead irrigation is a type of irrigation where water is applied above the soil surface. It is of
two types namely:
(a) Sprinkler irrigation
Sprinkler irrigation is the type of irrigation where water is applied above the soil surface with the use of sprinkler. Power is required to pump water into the sprinkler structure. The sprinkler consists of perforated pipes erected at a height above the soil surface. Water passes through the holes and spread over a large area of land since the water is let through tiny holes with high pressure.
ADVANTAGES OF SPRINKLER IRRIGATION
Sprinkler irrigation is suitable for all crops except tree crops
Sprinkler irrigation can be used for a large area of land
foliar fertilizers and insecticides can be applied through the sprinkler structure
DISADVANTAGES OF SPRINKLER IRRIGATION
It is expensive to construct and to maintain
It requires technical skills to set up
Sprinkler irrigation causes obstruction to machines and farm implements
Sprinkler irrigation requires power to pump water into the pipes at high pressure.
(b) Drip Irrigation. The second type of overhead irrigation is the drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is the application of irrigation water through perforated pipes laid close to the soil surface close to the plant roots. It ensures efficient use of water by delivering the water to the place where it will be absorbed by plant root
Advantages of drip irrigation
Drip Irrigation ensures efficient use of water
it requires lesser power and pressure than sprinkler irrigation
Soluble fertilizers can be applied through drip irrigation
Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation
1) it leads to accumulation of salt in the root zone
2) Drip Irrigation causes obstruction to machines and farm implements
3) Drip Irrigation requires special skills to set up
he is a seasoned educationist. He obtained his bachelor degree from Obafemi Awolowo University. He has written many educational articles on different blogs