Crop-Specific Irrigation Strategies During Water Shortages

Crop-Specific Irrigation Strategies During Water Shortages

Mar 10th 2023

Agriculture contributes to around 7% of the US economy's GDP. With a fast-growing population, the demand for agricultural goods has increased by 48% in the last two decades. While agriculture is a huge part of the country's economy, it is also one of the most wasteful sectors due to its water-intensive nature.

Water scarcity continues to be a huge problem on our planet. Without water, we can't grow water and grow crops, making it harder to meet the rising demand for food and other agricultural goods. Therefore, with a growing population, reducing water wastage and managing irrigation with water shortages is essential.

Water management is crucial in the agriculture sector. There are many irrigation methods, some of them requiring high water consumption. However, for effective water management, producers need to find crop-specific irrigation methods that will be efficient with minimal water wastage.

This guide will discuss efficient irrigation methods, crop-specific irrigation during droughts, and more details about drought-tolerant crops. To find used center pivots for sale and other discounted irrigation-related supplies, visit Flatwater Sales Inc. today.

Efficient Irrigation Practices

Drip Irrigation

One of the most effective ways to irrigate is drip irrigation. It's also an efficient irrigation practice for avoiding water wastage. Drip irrigation is ideal for high-value crops since it's an expensive irrigation system. Nevertheless, it's certainly a crop-specific irrigation method for vegetables, orchards, tree, and vine crops.

In this crop-specific irrigation method during droughts, water is delivered through drippers and pressurized pipes running close to the crops. These drippers and pipes are placed underground or on the soil's surface.

Drip irrigation is also called micro-irrigation. It's a widely used method but requires a lot of capital-intensive investment. It does an efficient job of ensuring that water is directly reaching each plant's root zone. This helps in precise irrigation and delivery of water-soluble agricultural chemicals, including fertilizers.

According to certain reports, drip irrigation has helped achieve 40-80% water savings and 100% yield gains. It also helps save pesticide, fertilizers, and labor costs. This system is also a long-term investment because it can last around 10-15 years without needing a replacement.

Sprinkler Irrigation

Another efficient irrigation method to mimic natural rainfall for agricultural lands is sprinkler irrigation. This crop-specific irrigation method for droughts is suitable for tree, row, and field crops. Pipes and rotating heads are used for pumping the water and then spraying it onto the crops for efficient water delivery.

While sprinkler irrigation systems are costly and use a lot of water because pressurized delivery is critical, they are 60-95% water efficient. On average, 75% water efficacy is achieved in this crop-specific irrigation method for droughts.

Compared to surface irrigation, where an overflow of water is delivered to the crops, sprinkler irrigation is more efficient. There is more control over the water application in this system. While many sprinkler systems do lose a lot of water to evaporation, new and smart systems are ideal for uneven agricultural lands. They last for almost 20 years.

Mechanized Irrigation

In mechanized irrigation, linear machines or center pivots are used for irrigating land. It's a water-efficient and crop-specific irrigation method for droughts. This irrigation method is ideal for corn, wheat, alfalfa, etc. Water is uniformly delivered and applied to the entire field, covering a large area.

Mechanized irrigation requires minimal labor. Furthermore, linear machines and center pivots are also inexpensive. You can find used center pivots for sale at Flatwater Sales Inc. and get them installed within a day or two. These irrigation parts have a high resale value compared to drip irrigation and last almost 20 years. You can easily get them installed on your large farms and fields.

The mechanized irrigation market in the US was valued at $15.5 billion in 2020. It's a flexible system with frequent crop rotations. It can be added to any field, including sandy soils, but almost any soil type can be adjusted to this irrigation system. This irrigation method is common for hilly lands and can be used for delivering fertilizers and chemicals to the field.

Crops For Droughts

With growing water shortages worldwide, let's look at some of the most drought-tolerant crops.

Figs are drought-tolerant crops that you can plant in a spot that receives a lot of sunlight. These crops need soil with adequate draining, so sandy soils are preferred. Late fall till early spring is the perfect time to plant these crops.

Alfalfa is another crop that can grow during water shortages. You can go for any highly-efficient crop-specific irrigation method for droughts to grow alfalfa all year round.

●Grapes are highly resilient plants with deep, long roots that can sustain long periods of water scarcity. They require sandy, loamy, well-draining soil and don't need any wet conditions to grow.

Wheat is another popular crop that doesn't need a lot of water to grow. In certain seasons, it does require water. At different stages in its harvest, efficient irrigation is needed for wheat crops. However, these crops can be grown during droughts and water shortages.

Efficient Irrigation with Flatwater Sales Inc.

With growing water shortages, it's important to invest in highly efficient irrigation methods. When you install a crop-specific irrigation method for droughts, it will help you conserve water and will also last you for years.

At Flatwater Sales Inc., we have irrigation supplies, equipment, and tools for different methods. Whether you prefer center pivot, sprinkler, or drip irrigation for your drought-tolerant crops, check out our website today.

We have a variety of discounted or used irrigation system parts to help you install a water-efficient irrigation system in your field or farm. We've got a variety of center pivot rainbow pumps, collector rings,center drives, tower boxes, running lights, u-joints, contractors, control panels, or sprinklers.

To learn more about our products, used center pivots for sale, shipping procedures, and updates, you can reach out to us today.