What is furrow irrigation?
A Furrow irrigation system is a surface irrigation system. In this method, furrows are developed in rows during the planting and cultivation process in which gravity plays the main role and water is efficiently applied for the plant to grow. Water can infiltrate through furrow irrigation and reach up to the root of the crop. This irrigation method is very water-efficient compared to other surface irrigation systems.
Furrow method of irrigation
It is a type of surface irrigation system. Here gravity plays the main role as water can infiltrate due to it. In the furrow irrigation system furrow developed between the crop or tree in rows during the planting and cultivation process.
The size and shape of the furrow are depends upon which type of crop or plant or tree is grown and the spacing needed between them. Water infiltrates in soil due to gravity and spread up to its roots. This method is most suitable for plants or trees grown in rows.
Types of furrow irrigation
depending upon size, shape, and topography it is classified as:
1. Straight furrow method of irrigation
This type of furrow irrigation is practiced in flats lands. The straight furrows in a graded manner are developed in a straight line as a small channel parallel to the boundary line of the field.
It is adopted for all types of soil except sandy because for graded furrow irrigation lateral spread of water need to be done which can not happen easily in sandy soil. In this irrigation, more human labor is required.
2. Contour furrow method of irrigation
This furrow irrigation system is practiced where it is not practical to use straight furrow irrigation. In contour, furrow irrigation is a small channel in a graded manner and wrapped. In this water is spread towards a sloping field, not at a downslope.
Furrow is developed according to sloping bed and pipeline or irrigation system run on that grade according to contour slopes and curve. It is one of the best methods to save water during irrigation. Mostly it is adopted on all kinds of soils rather than very much sandy soil because of unstable contour slopes. Only thing is that regular management of contour furrow is required.
3. Corrugated furrow irrigation
Corrugated (zig-zag) furrows are very small and closely spaced channels. This method is also used as of a flat or little bit of leveled surfaces. Where the corrugation for the irrigation system is done.
It is classified based on size and shaping. In this method size of the corrugated furrow is smaller and many lines of the corrugated furrow are developed parallel to the field boundary, through which water is spread in all the fields and to the plants or crops which are in a row. It is best suitable for low rainfall areas and high-density crops.
Furrow Irrigation Advantages
The Advantages of furrow irrigation are as follow:
- Irrigation of bulk crops is possible to grow through this system.
- Through this irrigation system wastage of time will be less and more cost-efficient.
- A low capital amount is required to invest in a system and its equipment.
- Very cost-effective as water loss is less due to a gravity irrigation system.
- Over irrigation, water supply will runoff and it can be collected at end of the field and can be reused.
- In this irrigation system use of chemical pesticides can be reduced.
- More crop yield will be ensured if proper shape-sized furrows are designed as per the requirement.
- We can get more crop yield with less water consumption through this method.
Furrow Irrigation Disadvantages
Disadvantages of furrow irrigation are as follow:
- Maintaining water is necessary because sometimes overflowing of water can happen or less soil infiltration is seen.
- It is not very much suitable for all kinds of soil like,- sandy soil because it has a high infiltration rate but can not be spread laterally.
- Due to furrow irrigation salt in water is accumulated at the edge of soil between the two furrows. So after every crop yield re-plowing can be redistributed salt accumulation in the soil again.
- The smooth movement of crop irrigation is restricted in the furrow irrigation system.
- Development of furrows and making of that cost more human labor.
- Proper maintenance of damages from time to time.
- Not suitable for many crops which need a different irrigation system.
Difference Between Flood and Furrow Irrigation
|Flood Irrigation||Furrow Irrigation|
|Flood irrigation is surface irrigation which is way much less efficient than any other method.||Furrow Irrigation is another surface irrigation method that is very efficient for crop yielding.|
|In this method water is applied to the field, the excess will percolate or runoff, and some will infiltrate and meet the plant root.||In this method, water is applied through a tube or siphon pipe to the furrow between the row of crops.|
|Through this irrigation system, some crops get too much water and some get too little.||In this irrigation system crops get an efficient amount of water and very less waste of water.|
|Less human labor is required in this irrigation system||More human labor is required compared to flood irrigation systems.|
Furrow Irrigation Uses
Uses of this irrigation system are considered as:
- Furrow irrigation method is used for the different crops, like vegetable fruits trees, mainly which can be grown in rows like corn, sunflower, potato, soybean, wheat, etc. it can be used especially sometimes in a zigzag manner to improve the spread of water.
- The Furrow Irrigation method is used when there is a slopy area, or in the area where there is low rainfall intensity.
- It will be used when you have less irrigation water available and more crop yield is needed.
- Furrow irrigation can be used when we have more human labor available at the initial time of the development of the irrigation system.
When to Use Furrow Irrigation?
The Furrow irrigation method is used when the crops are grown in rows. Such as tree or other horticulture industries. It is used when surface irrigation is required with efficient water use and less budget for the irrigation equipment. It will be used when we have more labor on the initial development of the furrow irrigation system. In a hilly area where the slope is graded then also contour furrow irrigation is used.
What is ridge and furrow irrigation?
It is a surface irrigation system where the ridgeline is created in the field at some distance of elevated angle which ultimately creates small furrows in a row with elevated ridgeline based on soil type and crops can be grown on both sides of the furrow. And afterward, water can be flow through the furrows in all the fields. So by this method, a common furrow can be used to irrigate two rows.
Furrow irrigation diagram
Fill in the blanks
- Furrow method of irrigation is most suitable for which crop- to crops which are grown in rows like maize, tomatoes, corn, trees, etc.
- The furrow irrigation system is best adapted for soil having a good infiltration rate and good ability to spread laterally.
- Furrow irrigation is also known as the corrugation irrigation method mostly.
Also Read: Classification & Uses of Dams
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