More Crop Per Drop: Using Simple Drip Irrigation Systems for Small-Scale Vegetable Production
Drip irrigation, which is also known as trickle irrigation or microirrigation, is an irrigation method that allows a grower to control the application of water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly near the plant roots through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. For many crops, switching from a conventional flood/furrow or sprinkler system to drip irrigation can reduce water use by 50 percent or more. Crop yields can increase through improved water and fertilizer management under drip irrigation. When drip irrigation is used with plastic mulch and raised beds, farmers can increase yield and improve the quality of vegetable crops. The combined use of drip irrigation, plastic mulch, and raised beds is known as plasticulture.
Drip irrigation is not applicable to all farms. However, when properly managed, it can reduce labor and production costs while improving productivity. Small-scale growers should evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation to determine the benefits for their farms.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Drip Irrigation
Chapter 2: Simple Drip Irrigation Systems
Chapter 3: Installation of a Simple Drip Irrigation System
Chapter 4: Drip Irrigation Scheduling
Chapter 5: Determining Soil Texture
Chapter 6: Determining Soil Water Status
Chapter 7: Estimating Crop Water Use
Chapter 8: Irrigation Water Quality
Chapter 9: Irrigation System Assessment
Chapter 10: Socioeconomic Evaluation of Small-scale Drip Irrigation