MICRO IRRIGATION & FERTIGATION - COTTON
Micro / Drip Irrigation is described as regulated and slow application of irrigation
water through emitters or orifices at frequent intervals near the root zone of plant,
over a longer period of time. Characteristics of micro/drip irrigation:
- Water is applied at a low rate
- Water is applied over a long period of time.
- Water is applied at frequent intervals.
- Water is applied via a low pressure delivery system.
- Drip Irrigation increases yield of cotton. On an all India basis an yield increase
of 27% is recorded (INCID, 1994). There are individual farmers cases where yield
was doubled by drip irrigation when compared to the yield obtained under furrow
/ flood irrigation methods.
- Drip irrigation makes it possible to grow cotton in all types of soils. Even in
a light or shallow soil in which water storage is inadequate to supply the crop
over an extended irrigation cycle as is the case with furrow or flood irrigation,
drip irrigation provides an opportunity to raise good, high yielding cotton crop.
- Because it eliminates intermittent water stress, drip irrigation allows the crop
to approach its production potential for more days of the season thus resulting
in higher yields.
- Drip irrigation is suitable in any type of land / soil management system - flat,
ridge and furrow, and bed and furrow systems.
- Early planting and establishment of cotton crop is important as part of IPM and
for high yields. Drip irrigation proves to be a boon in such situations, especially
when the monsoon plays truant.
- Drip irrigation helps in taking up a summer crop of cotton in Tamil Nadu, even in
the water scarce southern districts, because the use of drip saves water upto 53%
as compared to any other method of irrigation.
- It is now accepted facts that drip system of irrigation increases yield of the crop
and reduces water used by the crop thus resulting in higher water use efficiency.
Along with the use of drips for irrigation, if fertigation is also done through
the drip system, the efficiency of fertilizer use will enhance both by the saving
of fertilizer and by virtue of higher yields. Plant nutrients are applied near the
root zone in very small quantities along with water. This eliminates losses of nutrients
due to extraneous forces as it happens in the broadcasting method of fertilizer
application. Application through drip system saves 35% on the cost of fertilizer
- Drip irrigation results in early and uniform maturity of the crop and improved quality
- Because of the uniform distribution of water to each plant in the field the growth
of plants will be more uniform.
- Application of water close to the root zone keeps weed growth under control. It
also reduces the incidence of pests and diseases as the foliage is not wetted and
the dry canopy conditions are maintained.