Drip irrigation can be used for almost all types of crops. However, some crops are better suited for drip irrigation than others.
In Nigeria, drip irrigation is mostly used for vegetable crops, broad acre crops, tree crops and fruit crops etc.
Drip irrigation is particularly common for vegetable crops in Nigeria. A lot of cucumber, tomato and pepper farmers in Nigeria now use drip irrigation systems.
What is Drip Irrigation?
Drip irrigation is a type of micro-irrigation that wets the root zone of plants in a trickle manner. Drip irrigation tubes or tapes pass water to the rots of plants in droplets; this ensures that the plants make optimal use of the water.
Drip irrigation conserves water as the volume of water passed to the root zone of plants is optimally used by the plants.
To use a drip irrigation system, drip tapes, main lines, sub main lines, connectors, valves, end plugs, venturi injector, source of water and joiners etc.
Drip irrigation enables Fertigation and Chemigation. Fertigation is the passing of fertilizer solutions to the root zones of plants through irrigation pipes or lines. Chemigation is the passing of soluble chemicals like pesticides to the rot zones of plants through irrigation lines or hoses.
Unlike flood irrigation and sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation conserves up to 80% of water in some instances. With drip irrigation, a farmer can use far lesser volume of water to irrigate its crops unlike other forms of irrigation.
Crops Suitable for Drip Irrigation
The following are the types of crops suitable for drip irrigation:
Drip irrigation systems are commonly used for vegetable crops. These crops include tomato, pepper, cucumber, kale, watermelon, egg plants, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, leeks, spring onions and bell pepper etc.
In Nigeria, there a lot of vegetable farmers using drip irrigation system to irrigate their crops.
Drip irrigation can also be used for tuber crops like yam, cassava, Irish potato, sweet potato, cocoyam, beets and carrots etc.
Drip irrigation has been shown to significantly increase the yield of tuber crops.
Drip irrigation can be used for crops like rubber, oil palm, cocoa and cashew etc. I have seen a cocoa plantation that increased its yield by more than 100% because the farmer used drip irrigation.
Broad Acre Crops
Drip irrigation can also be used for crops like maize, soybeans, groundnut and millet etc. Due to the seemingly low ROI of these crops, farmers often shy away from using drip irrigation systems for them.
Mango, orange, pawpaw, guava, pineapple and banana are some of the orchard crops that will do well under drip irrigation.
Do you use drip irrigation for your crops? If yes, why not let us continue the conversation in the comments’ section.