The idealized farm shown here illustrates the three basic irrigation methods:
What You Will Learn:
Keep in mind that there is no one best irrigation method for all conditions. Any method can work efficiently if it is appropriate to the circumstances, well designed, and diligently maintained. In all cases, the proper application amount equals the water required by the crop, plus the water needed to prevent the build-up of harmful minerals in the soil through a process called leaching.
Water, like any other developed resource, comes at a cost even as it provides benefits. Agriculture, like other business, seeks to minimize costs while maximizing benefits. Good irrigation management can shift environmental effects from the cost side to the benefit side of the economic ledger while improving farm operations at the same time. A win-win solution.