Toro Micro-Irrigation has announced the release of a “Typical Drip System Layout” illustration that will be used in education and outreach efforts. The illustration was developed to address the growing demand for information about drip irrigation from the agricultural production community, and seeks to help those unfamiliar with the technology to understand basic drip irrigation system components, concepts and layout strategies.
Although every application and design is different, the illustration provides an excellent starting point for discussion and education.
The illustration is organized into two halves.
First, the “headworks” portion of the illustration shows the typical water sources, pumps, filters, chemical injection equipment and controls used in a drip irrigation system.
Second, the “field” portion of the system shows typical layouts for five different types of drip irrigation systems — field crop sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI), both short- and long-term vegetable crops, vineyards and orchards.
“Drip systems are customized for each farm since crop and field size, shape and slope are rarely consistent,” says Claude Corcos, marketing manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation. “However, there are concepts and equipment strategies that are common to all systems which are presented in a user-friendly manner in Toro's new illustration.”
Drip irrigation is gaining in popularity because of the many potential benefits it provides to agricultural producers across the globe. With drip, crop yield and quality are often improved since water and nutrients are spoon fed to the crop uniformly and according to the producer's desired schedule.
In addition, water runoff, deep percolation and/or over-irrigation due to poor application uniformity may be reduced, which helps stretch limited water supplies and cut water costs. At the same time, water, fertilizer, energy, labor, pesticide, weeding and equipment costs may be dramatically reduced in comparison with previous practices.
In drip applications where crop wheel rows remain dry, drip fields are typically more accessible regardless of the irrigation schedule, which improves farm logistics.
And since water is not applied within the plant canopy, humidity and associated disease problems are reduced.
Furthermore, reduced puddling can decrease the opportunity for E. coli to grow.
“Our customers have thoroughly convinced us,” says Corcos, “that the benefits of drip are real and numerous. We feel an obligation to educate the agricultural community on the value drip technology provides as a solution to farmers' current challenges. This illustration and a new educational Web site are examples of our most recent efforts.”
The illustration may be accessed at www.dripirrigation.org, Toro's new drip education Web site. Click on “Typical Layout” under the “Design and Installation” header, and right click on the illustration if you wish to download the Web version, or choose “Download a high resolution version” if desired.