Tags: farmers | irrigation | pitfalls | avoid

Farmers: 5 Irrigation Pitfalls to Avoid

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Oct 2016 08:57 AM

Seeds, soil, light, and water — these are the ingredients for a successful harvest. When you run a farm business though, each of these inputs require careful consideration to maximize your profits.

Water is a valuable and sometimes scarce resource, and making irrigation mistakes can cost you. Here are five irrigation pitfalls to avoid.

1. Not taking into account your water quality — Your source for water is important when considering the best type of irrigation system to use. If you want to use drip irrigation with anything but city water, you will need a very effective filter that is maintained religiously, says The Walden Effect. It may be best to consider another method.

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2. Not calculating your return on investment — The goal of any irrigation system should be to increase your yields per acre of land, bringing more income to your business. Lyndon Kelley of the Michigan State University Extension says you have to be sure your irrigation system will pay for itself. Use a tool such as the Capital Investment Model by Roger Betz, also of Michigan State University, to calculate economic feasibility.

3. Assuming your irrigation system is “set it and forget it” — Many farmers install irrigation systems thinking it will take the guesswork out of irrigation and they can simply let the system run on its pre-set schedule. Doing so can cause damage to plants from overwatering and can be seriously inefficient. Be prepared to make seasonal changes to your irrigation setup, taking into account your specific crops and their unique water needs, advises Drip Depot.

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4. Assuming drip irrigation is best for all farms — Drip irrigation can be very efficient because it delivers water right to your plants’ roots where it is most needed. However, drip irrigation can be costly to install and requires very clean water and regular maintenance so the nozzles don’t clog with particles and algae, says EcoCentric.

5. Not researching water regulations — According to Lyndon Kelley, agriculture irrigation is almost always considered a large volume water use. Research your state’s rights and requirements thoroughly. In some states, new irrigation systems require registration.

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Seeds, soil, light, and water — these are the ingredients for a successful harvest. Water is a valuable and sometimes scarce resource, and making irrigation mistakes can cost you. Here are five irrigation pitfalls to avoid.
farmers, irrigation, pitfalls, avoid
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2016-57-04
Tuesday, 04 Oct 2016 08:57 AM
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