Saturday, July 20, 2024
General Agriculture

Concept, Definition and Principles of Irrigation Farming

Irrigation is the act of artificially supplying water to the farm through different means. This can be done through the use of sprinkler, flooding, etc. The essence of irrigating our farms is to ensure that the crops have adequate quantity of water for the crops growth and development.

Irrigation is necessary and has become important because rainfall cannot be predicted by man and so, irrigation helps to bridge the needed water.

Also, farming cannot be done in the dry. Irrigation to this end helps to make farming possible during the dry season. Through irrigation, farming throughout the year is possible and food security is therefore guaranteed.

Concept of Irrigation Farming

Irrigation is a method of applying controlling the amount of water you supply to plants at regular intervals for agriculture (Iwena, 2018).

The author stated in simple words that, it is when you supply water to plants to help them grow well when there is not enough rain. You can pump irrigation water from rivers, lakes and wells.

The farmer can as well allow it to flow to the fields by the force of gravity along pipes or open canals. Irrigation water is needed for the plants as it helps the plants to grow well, help to control the heat that affects the plant, it makes it to be turgid, thus giving it strength, it also helps in the transportation of materials in the plant, and so on.

Water may reach the plant through rainfall. But sometimes the rain may be off-season, hence it has to be supplied through one artificial means or the other. This is necessary so the plant can be able to meet up with its potentials and meet up with food surplus that guarantees food security.

Definition of Irrigation Farming

Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the farm / land for the purpose of agricultural production (Iwena, 2018).

Effective irrigation will influence the entire growth process from seedbed preparation, germination, root growth, nutrient utilization, plant growth and regrowth, yield and quality.

Irrigation is also defined as the artificial application of water to the soil for plants to utilize for their growth and development. Through the process of irrigation, the plants are able to meet up with their potentials, all things being equal.

Principles of Irrigation Farming

Irrigation farming is guided by some set of rules that really make it effective (Report on Irrigation-Principles and Practice).

The report emphasized that these set of rules ensure that irrigating the farm is carried out at optimum, ensuring maximization of benefits and avoiding to the barest minimum any hazards or negativities that may emanate from the practice. Some of the guiding principles are:

Cost of Operation: Irrigation is of relatively low cost when compared to the cost of running the entire farm. This is necessary so that many farmers can take advantage of the practice and benefit from what it offers. Again, once in operation it should be readily available for use as needed.

Littletechnicalbackground: Irrigation practice needs the farmer to have little technical knowledge for use of the system. To this end in view, the farmers must understudy the farming system to know the level of technical knowledge that is within his reach and that will determine the kind of irrigation system to adopt.

Wind direction consideration: Although the practice or water is vulnerable to the wind. For this reason, oscillators may be useful when “rough irrigating” large blocks of garden beds, e.g., prior to planting cover crops, and when irrigating large garden spaces. Oscillators ensure the spread of water on lager area of land.

Poor uniformity of water distribution:In the course of the distribution of water via irrigation practice, there is bound to be relatively low uniformity of water distribution and high rates of evaporation, especially in hot and/or windy situations

Takes time for water to cover area: The water that comes from the pores can take time to adjust and “dial in” to provide full, even coverage of the desired area. SO the system calls for patience from the farmers.


Inconsistence in distribution of water: The irrigation water is inconsistent in distribution pattern and due to its vulnerability to wind, may cause some of the plants / crops not served water, thereby making the crops be subject to “drift” and thus increased disease incidence if they are prone to fungal disease of the leaf canopy (as a result of lack of water)

Inability to determine water quantity: The required water to be ideal for irrigating a field is difficult to calculate or determined. Irrigation practice is difficult to determine in terms of rate of water to use and the time water should run.

Such is difficult or time consuming to accurately determine output/distribution, thus leading to over-watering or under- watering. For example, the adjustability of oscillators means the same device could water a 4‟ x 12‟ section or a 30‟ x 30‟ section. So an irrigation set of the same duration will deliver very different amounts to these two garden plots.

Read Also : Proper Irrigation and Drainage Guide

Existence of different oscillators: It is important to note that there exist different types of oscillators. These differences in quality of oscillator brands exist in their useful lifespan, adjustability, and distribution uniformity. All of these vary widely, and it can be difficult to know quality until you‟ve invested considerable time and energy.

In summary, irrigation is the artificial application of water to the farm / land for the purpose of agricultural production. The act of irrigating our farms is important because it helps to ensure the plants meeting up with its potential and ensuring food security of the nation.

Different principles like cost of operation, demand of farmer’s little technical background knowledge, wind direction consideration, etc. stand to guide the effective performance of the irrigation system.

Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the farm / land for the purpose of agricultural production and its importance cannot be overemphasized. However, different principles are bound to ensure the effective functioning of the irrigation system.

Read Also : Economic Importance of Fish and Fish Products


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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