Blog | Kothari Group India

Changes In Irrigation Practices With Time

Date: 31-12-2020

The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago.

India has seen many agriculture revolutions in different fields.

The Indus Valley Civilization developed sophisticated irrigation and water-storage systems, including artificial reservoirs at Girnar dated to 3000 BCE, and an early canal irrigation system from c. 2600 BCE. Large-scale agriculture was practiced, with an extensive network of canals used for the purpose of irrigation.

The irregularity in rainfall & dependency of majority of population on agriculture has created to develop different types of Irrigation systems with changing times.

The major types of Irrigation Includes

  • Surface Irrigation
  • Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Drip Irrigation

Surface Irrigation

This is the most common method of Irrigation practised all across the globe. The changing times has brought many changes in this method also. On the basis of types it is divided in to

  • Flood Irrigation through canal

    The canals were developed on the stored water surfaces like dams & moved along the slope to the field. In India around 23% of the Irrigated land (data as on March 2018) is irrigated through Canal Irrigation. Still there is as such very minimal adoption of advance drip systems like drip Irrigation on this. So still there is a huge scope of development in this sector for saving of water. Water losses are huge in this system through percolation, Evaporation etc. Also Soil erosion is tremendous one which is decreasing the soil health with the passing of time.

  • Irrigation with Pipes

    Development of pipes can be said the next revolution in agriculture. Initially cement pipes, then in GI & later in HDPE & PVC Pipes, the face of agriculture has been completely changed all across the world. The invention of electric pumping system add on to this progress, lifting the ground water, River water directly to the banking of the field. Although piping has reduced the water losses to some extent, still the issue of Soil erosion has remain persistent by this system of Irrigation.

  • Furrow Irrigation:

    This system has been started after developing of piping system. The pipe has been laid to one portion of the field usually on the higher side. After starting of the thinking process, some farmers adopted furrow Irrigation by making furrows along the slope of soil. This reduced the water losses, soil erosion to some extent.

Drip Irrigation

After development of pumping systems & plastic pipes, the next agriculture revolution came through the development of Drip & Sprinkler Irrigation systems. Many researches has been done by the scientist to prove that there is a life for the plants. And they also needs water & nutrients on daily basis just like human being. This has developed the concept of drip Irrigation designed to irrigate plants on daily basis. The further research has studied & developed different water conditions on different types of soils & formed three water conditions viz

  • Saturated condition having 100% of water & no air around root zone of soil
  • Field Capacity condition having proportionate amount of water & soil around root zone in soil as per the soil type
  • Wilting point condition having 100% air & no water available for the plant roots in soil

It was proved by different researches that the field capacity condition is the most ideal condition for the growth of the plants & daily water application by drip Irrigation aims at keeping the soil around plant roots at field capacity 24x7. This has shown tremendous water saving up to 50% over flood Irrigation & due to above condition there is 30 to 40% rise in yield.

For calculating the daily water requirement, factors like Plant spacing, Crop factor, Canopy factor, Daily Evapotranspiration (ETC) are considered. In next stage, drip system has started laying 4 to 12 inches below ground eliminating the water losses by Evaporation (Sub-surface drip system). Drip Irrigation is useful for all crops like, sugarcane, vegetables & horticulture crops.

Sprinkler Irrigation

For few Kharif crops like Soya bean, maize, Sorghum, some pulses & Rabbi Crops like Wheat, Gram, Barley etc., the water requirement is for very short period. & drip system is found expensive for some farmers. In Kharif they just require one or two Irrigations depending upon the rainfall gap period. This has developed the need for Sprinkler Irrigation.

At Kothari Group further many types are manufactured and supplied like Foggers, Misters, Micro-Sprinkler, Mini-Sprinkler, Sprinklers, Rain guns & Pop-ups.

- Sandeep Deshpande