It is common for sources of irrigation farming to become scarce during protracted droughts. However, agricultural improvements can boost crop yields, improve water resource sustainability, and increase energy efficiency. Farmers who are concerned about sustainability are planning and utilizing a variety of techniques to save water. These are but a handful.
Choose a more efficient irrigation method.
Choosing Agricultural Irrigation Products with lower evaporation susceptibilities can improve irrigation efficiency. For instance, sprinklers can cut water use by 5–15%, particularly in windy places, when used in place of a stationary or traveling cannon. You can also reduce your water usage by up to 20% by switching from a sprinkler to a drip system.
In comparison to spray watering systems, drip irrigation systems minimize evaporation by delivering water straight to the roots of plants. To further reduce water loss, you can use timers to plan irrigation during the cooler hours of the day.
Try irrigation scheduling
Effective water management considers not just the method of delivery but also the amount, frequency, and timing of water use. Farmers monitor the weather patterns and soil and plant moisture levels and adjust their irrigation schedules accordingly to avoid overwatering or underwatering their crops. For instance, some farmers irrigate at night to reduce evaporation and enable water to percolate into the soil and raise the water table.
Use compost and mulch.
Using decomposed organic matter or compost as fertilizer improves soil structure and increases water-holding capacity. A mulch is applied on the top surface of the soil to retain moisture. The breakdown of mulch composed of organic materials, like wood chips or straw, into compost, will improve the soil’s capacity to hold water throughout the dry season. Farmers can also use black plastic mulch as a soil cover to prevent weed growth and lower evaporation.
Fix any irrigation system leaks.
If your irrigation system has a water meter, you can check for leaks by shutting it off and checking to see if the meter is still running. Along the irrigation line, look for “perpetual wet spots” that don’t dry up in between waterings.
Plant crops resistant to drought
Farmers also obtain more crops per water drop by cultivating crops suitable for the local climate. Certain crop kinds native to arid climates have evolved low-water requirements through time, but other crop species are naturally drought-tolerant.
Capture and preserve water.
While many farms use groundwater from wells or municipal water supplies, some have constructed their ponds to capture and preserve rainwater for year-round use. Additionally, well-maintained ponds can provide a home for nearby species.
Practice rotational grazing
The practice of rotating cattle between fields to encourage pasture regeneration is known as rotational grazing. Proper grazing management makes pastures drought-resistant by increasing the fields’ ability to absorb water and reducing water runoff. Additionally, rotational grazing has water-saving advantages because it increases the organic substance in the soil and provides better fodder coverage.
Managing water is an essential component of running a farm and producing high-quality crops. It’s critical to stretch water supplies and conserve water during dry spells to guarantee that there will be enough for the entire planting season.