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Factors That Affect Irrigation System Selection

by Amélie Simon

The right irrigation system is critical to the success of any agricultural operation. If you have been thinking about automating your field irrigation but aren't sure where to start, you are not alone. Many people often wonder about the best way to handle irrigation systems. Choosing the right one requires some careful consideration of a variety of different factors. Here are some of the most important elements to consider when you're ready to install an automatic irrigation system.

The Condition of the Soil

Your soil condition and composition are important parts of getting the right irrigation system. After all, if you have sandy soil that doesn't retain moisture, you'll need something that provides consistent and sufficient water regularly. In areas with clay in the soil, you'll want to consider drip irrigation so that the water doesn't just run off and you don't end up with oversaturation. Talk with your irrigation system supplier about the soil composition in your fields to find the right irrigation system for your needs.

The Crops You Grow

Another important factor in your irrigation system selection is the crops that you're growing. Every crop has its own unique water demand, including not only volume but also application methods. Some crops may benefit from overhead water applications, while most need direct-to-ground watering to prevent damage. Consider the water needs for your crops as you choose the irrigation systems for each field.

Water Availability

Your irrigation system needs to be able to connect easily to your water source, which means considering where your water source is located as you make your choice. This provides you with the opportunity to choose a system with sufficient plumbing infrastructure to reach your water source. Your installation contractor can help you identify the best water connections, even if it means installing a diverter and splitting the connection between several irrigation systems across multiple fields.

Your Prevailing Climate

The climate where you live also affects the best irrigation system choice for your property. In areas that are traditionally hot and dry, you need a system that can push more water flow than you'd need in an area with more steady rain. Consider your seasonal average rainfall in your irrigation system flow calculations.

These are some of the key factors that contribute to the irrigation system you need for your property. Keep in mind that growing multiple crops often means varying water needs, so be prepared to install more than one type of irrigation system across your fields. For more information, contact a company like The Irrigator.