Sprinkler irrigation systems are rainfall-like methods of distributing water throughout soil. Water is distributed through a network of pipes by pumping, which—through spray heads—sprays it into the air, breaks it up into tiny drops falling to the soil. It is one of four basic irrigation methods; the other three are subsurface, surface or gravity and trickle irrigations. Of those four, sprinkler irrigation systems are the most commonly used throughout the globe.
Can be composed of one or many sprinklers, sprinkler irrigation systems deliver efficient coverage for both small and large areas. They are suitable for all types of soil. They are also adaptable to nearly all irrigable soils.
Such field crops benefit sprinkler irrigation systems as wheat, gram, pulses, vegetables, cotton, soya bean, tea, coffee beans and other fodder crops. Therefore they are suitable for residential and industrial lawns as well as golf and race courses.
Some sprinkler irrigation systems are as follow:
- Center pivot system
It is one of the most adaptable sprinkler irrigation systems. However, it is not suitable for irregularly shaped fields, long narrow fields and fields containing such types of obstruction as trees, farmsteads or others.
- Center pivot with corner system
With corner attached, it can irrigate most of the corner areas a conventional center pivot system hardly covers.
- Linear move system
Sometimes called a lateral move, it is built the same way as center pivot system, with moving towers and pipes connecting them. However, in linear move system all towers move at the same speed and in the same direction. Due to its high installment cost, linear move system is commonly used for high value crops as potatoes, vegetables and turf.
- Traveling big gun system
It is one of sprinkler irrigation systems particularly adaptable to various crop heights, variable travel speeds, odd shaped fields and rough terrains, big gun system requires a moderate installment cost, more labor and higher operating pressures than center pivot and linear systems.
- Side roll system
Sometimes called a wheel roll system, it is the most commonly chosen out of available sprinkler irrigation systems to irrigate an area from 60 to 90 feet wide. The sprinklers are mounted on weighted, swiveling connectors that no matter where the side roll stops, the sprinklers will always be right side up. It is not recommended for slopes greater than 5 percent, and it should be used mainly on flat surface.
When selecting one or more sprinkler irrigation systems, most important things to consider are:
- The field shape and size
- The field topography
- The amount of time and labor required to operate those sprinkler irrigation systems
- Types of crop you are going to grow