To understand the term precision irrigation system, the term precision is meant to be exact and accurate. Therefore the precision irrigation system is to be exact and accurate irrigation which involves the delivering of water and nutrients to the plant’s roots directly but not to the entire soil surrounding the roots.
In this type of farming, the plant roots get direct contact with the nutrient rich solution thus faster absorption rate by the root.The materials used in precision irrigation system may include the use of arrow drippers, hydroponic system and aeroponics system. In these systems, water is directly supplied to the plant roots.
This precise tool is used to deliver water directly to the root. It consists of arrow adapter, rubber tubing, and water arrow dripper
Arrow drippers are the current precise drip irrigation tool that is used to efficiently deliver water on to plant roots. The drippers are rooted into individual plant thus delivering water into region to be wetted.
The dripper has either blue or black plastic dripper with a tube that is used to channel water from supply pipe.
The supply pipe commonly used is Hdpe pipe of 16 millimeters because of its ease in work ability even though other pipes like PVC and PPR pipes may be used. This supply pipe ensures that the water demand and supply is readily available.
Arrow dripper installation
In the arrow dripper connection, the small adapter is fixed into tubing then the tubing is connected to the supply tank. The adapter of 12mm used is tapered at end to ensure there is no leakage at the point of connection for accurate and exact water delivery.
Areas of applications of arrow drippers
- an individual plant(passion fruits , oranges, mangoes, tomato trees, and avocados, tree nurseries and banana trees)
- planter boxes,
- large pots
Specifications of arrow drippers
- Flow rate of 0.7 liter per hour to 4.0 liters per hour
- Working pressure of 0.5 Bar to 4.0 Bars.
- Micron for the water filtration of 130 microns to 200 microns
Advantages of button drippers
- Extensive land leveling is not required, drip irrigation can be employed in all landscapes
- Irrigation water can be used at a maximum efficiency level and water losses can be reduced to a minimum;
- Soil conditions can be taken into account to a maximum extent and soil erosion risk due to irrigation water impact can be reduced to a minimum;
- Fertilizer and nutrients can be used with high efficiency; as water is applied locally and leaching is reduced, fertilizer/nutrient loss is minimized (reduced risk of groundwater contamination)
- Weed growth is reduced as water and nutrients are supplied only to the cultivated plant
- Positive impact on seed germination and yield development
- Plant water requirement can be easily estimated since the flow rates and nutrients mixing are taken into consideration.
Hydroponic precise irrigation system.
As the name suggests hydroponic ‘hydro’ is Greek word meaning water while ‘ponic’ which means labor. Therefore, hydroponic is water driven mechanism thus removing soil into the equation into this farming method.
In hydroponic farming, farmers grow plants under controlled conditions like quantity of water and nutrients to ensure the healthy growth of plants. The technique grows plants under controlled productivity by adding specific amount and types of nutrients to the water.
Hydroponics system allows fast growth of vegetables and fodder by promoting efficient consumption of nutrients. As a result, a farmer collects higher yields within a shorter period compared to other conventional methods of growing fodder which involves the use large acreage.
Hydroponic is cost effective and consumes less space of land, very economical, high efficiency of nutrient supply, high returns as compared to other conventional methods of growing fodder.
Since water is the driving water force of nutrients in this farming system, it is therefore necessary to design the most appropriate way of water supply in the system. Most adequate methods of water supply may include the use of drip water system, micro-sprinklers (G and star misters) and impulse sprinklers.
Crops grown under hydroponic irrigation system
These are high valued crops with high returns. These crops include
- Hydroponic fodder.
- Vegetables like spinach, kales, lettuce, and e.t.c.
- Seed propagation .i.e. Irish potato seeds.
Advantages of hydroponic precise irrigation system
Excellent water utilization
Plants grown hydroponically use little water as compared to open field grown plants. This is due to recycling of the used water that have gone through the system and collected as the runoff water.
Faster growth of plants
Since the diluted nutrients are readily available, the energy that could be used by plants to garner in nutrients are converted into growth stimulation thus enhancing faster growth
Since plants are not in contact with soil as the medium, there will be no any weed.
Pest and diseases control
Plants are less vulnerable to soil-borne pests and diseases. This will lead to less use of insecticides and herbicides thus growing cleaner and healthier crops.
- Applicable in space limited areas.
Plants nutrients requirements are provided and maintained in a portable system in your apartment, balcony, backyard or space rooms.
Aeroponics is a modern system which involves growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or any aggregate medium.
In this type of farming, the plants are place in stem holding structure to suspend the plants in a closed or semi-closed environment. In this suspension state, the daggling roots are sprayed with water rich with nutrients.
The plant canopy (leaves and the crown) and the roots are separated by the plant support structure. Most of these support structure are either seed trays or foam compressed around the lower and inserted into an opening in the hydroponic chamber.
The daggling roots are therefore watered by the atomized water which ‘wash’ the roots with nutrients rich solution which in turn they are absorbed by roots. The commonly used atomizing water tool is either micro-sprinkler or the water misters.
The system requires technical skill and experience since it is somehow complicated