Drip irrigation in Onion cultivation in India
What is drip irrigation?
Drip irrigation system is a micro irrigation system. The irrigation systems generally we use, they are either high pressure system or uses a lot of water.
In this system we give water directly to the root zone of the plant with the help of pipes.
As we know the plants only need water in a specific place to grow, by using this technique we give water on the specific place of the plant root, that’s how we save water and as well as grow crops.
This is a very simple and easy method if you have the knowledge of it. It saves up to 20 to 50% of water and if you use less water you have to use less fertilizer because excess water carries the fertilizer with it from the field.
As we know onion have shallow roots so fertilizers applied in the beginning of the season end up getting pushed below the root zone by the rain, that’s why frequent irrigation is the best way to achieve high yields and uniform bulbs.
There are two ways to form this whole system-
1. Surface drip system – In this method pipes are place above the soil surface.
2. Subsurface drip system – The pipes are underground in this method. The pipes are place 1 to 2 cm under the soil.
Both methods have there own advantages and disadvantages.
You can use any method for onion framing as per your convenience.
There are also two types of pipe is available in the market-
1. Poly tube – In this pipe you can customize nozzles as you want. If you want 3 holes on a gap of 1,2,3 meter you have to just make a nozzles in it. This pipe is suitable for gardening.
2. Inline tube – This pipe is good for close planting. The nozzles are already formed in the pipe when you buy it. In this pipe, make sure that the water is already filtered when you flow water into it, which means that a filter is required at the main water source because if you flow the water into pipe without filtering it, waste material of water can get stuck in the pipe. This pipe is suitable for onion farming.
How drip irrigation is beneficial in Onion?
Drip irrigation ensures best possible growth, better bulbing and early maturity of onion by making optimum soil moisture, water, air and nutrients throughout the crop growing period that results uniform bulb, highest bulb size and good productivity.
Another important thing for those who use drip irrigation in onion is fertigation, which allows producers to assist crops efficiently. Keep in mind that the roots of onions are not very deep or fibrous, so fertigation must be very efficient.
Advanteges of drip irrigation –
1. This system saves water by reducing loss of water in conveyance, reducing loss of water through evaporation, run off, and by deep percolation.
2. This system doesn’t require big power unit and consume less energy.
3. We can apply fertilizers and chemicals through water pipes, as we can also save labor charges.
4. In this irrigation only limited places become wet , so this is also helpful in inhibiting weed growth.
5. This system is fully automated , so here we save labor requirements also.
6. Field leveling is not necessary, this is very good for irregularly sized land and hilly areas.
7. In this system, we do not flow water directly to the ground with heavy pressure, so it doesn’t lead to any run-off.
8. Water is not directly flowing on the ground , so it’s saves fertilizer also.
Disadvantages of drip irrigation-
1. This system needs higher maintenance.
2 . If you flow water into the pipes without filtering it may result of clogging.
3. Animals may cause damage.
4. Initial amount is bit expensive.
5. You may need training for this.
Thanks for reading. Jai Hind Jai Kisan !