The use of drip irrigation system has revolutionized farming in Nigeria and indeed worldwide. Drip irrigation is a type of irrigation that passes water to the root zone of plants in a trickle or droplet manner.
Drip irrigation is very efficient as it saves water and also increases the yield of crops. Drip irrigation can also save labour cost, quantity of fertilizers to use and time to spend on irrigating crops.
As in other climes, there are dos and don’ts of using drip irrigation systems in Nigeria.
Dos of using drip irrigation system in Nigeria
The following are the dos of using drip irrigation system:
The drip irrigation tapes or tubes must be flushed intermittently so that they will not get clogged or blocked. The emitters of some types of drip irrigation tapes are notorious for getting clogged or blocked so a farmer must flush the system intermittently.
The water flow and pressure in the drip irrigation system must be measured and monitored always in order to ensure uniformity in wetting of the root zone of plants. A flow meter can help in the measurement of water flow and pressure. Pressure gauges can also be used to measure water pressure. The water flow and pressure in the upper and lower parts of the drip irrigation system should be measured separately.
The pH of the water that flows in your drip irrigation system should be measured intermittently and amended if need be. When the pH of water is high, you may experience blocking and clogging of the emitters on your drip tapes or drip tubes. A high pH can be lowered by the injection of acid into the drip irrigation system.
Only soluble fertilizers should be applied through the drip irrigation system. Insoluble fertilizers will get the drip emitters blocked or clogged. Also, flushing of the system should be done after fertilizers have been applied to the crops.
If your water is dirty or has particles, you should use a 200 mesh filter.
You should ensure uniformity in wetting of the root zones of plants when using the drip irrigation system.
The drip tapes should be removed when they are not good for purpose again.
Don’ts of Using Drip Irrigation System in Nigeria
Never pass dirty water into the drip irrigation laterals; this may block the drip irrigation emitters.
Never inject fertilizers into the drip irrigation system until all the drip irrigation tapes or tubes are fully pressurized.
Never turn the surface having the emitters upside down when laying the drip irrigation tapes or tubes. This can lead to damage or blocking of the drip irrigation system.
Never install a gravity based drip irrigation kit the same way a pressurized drip irrigation system is run.
Never compare the irrigation time of two different drip irrigation systems. A lot of factors determine the time to spend irrigation crops under your drip irrigation system. The factors can include the type of soil, weather condition and type of crops etc.
Never inject insoluble fertilizers into the drip irrigation system, this can get the emitters clogged or blocked.
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Should you want to buy drip irrigation kits or have any issues or questions about drip irrigation, please contact Veggie Concept through firstname.lastname@example.org or 08025141924.