Vegetable Growers' Handbook Chapter V: Irrigation
Most growers recognize that agriculture is a very risky business. Irrigation is a means of reducing some of the risk in agriculture, and is necessary for vegetable production in many areas of the State. The hope is that additional revenue from improved quality and yields will not only pay for the costs of purchasing and operating the irrigation system, but also will result in greater profits. Choose the correct system for your particular situation. Consider carefully the first costs of buying and installing the system, as well as the continuing costs for pumping, operation, labor and maintenance.
Good management practices also are very important. Correct irrigation timing and amount of water often make the difference between profit and loss in an irrigation operation. Additionally, the use of pressure gauges and flow meters to monitor irrigation system performance allows for timely detection of problems. This chapter will cover some of the basic factors that should be considered in selection and management of irrigation systems for vegetable production in Texas. Space limitations prevent detailed discussion of all the aspects of irrigation. Additional references and sources of information are provided for each topic.