All about the gravity drip irrigation system - Part I
The gravity drip system is an on-farm drip irrigation technique that relies on gravity to supply energy/power needed to operate it, i.e. no pump is used.
Farms and potential farms situated in areas that have no natural water source, or are not connected to a public irrigation scheme.
In areas of limited water resources, drip irrigation is the most efficient and economical method of water application to crops.
Lands must be flat or gently sloping, as drippers do not work well on steep slopes.
The gravity drip system may or may not be able to satisfy the optimum crop water requirement, but it is able to assist in the critical periods of a plant's life.
It not only increases yield, but also improves the quality of the produce.
It offers the following advantages:
Planting pattern and orientation
Recommended planting distance is usually the pattern followed for spacing drip lines between rows.
There are two proven patterns that can be used:
Spacing will be different from that of single-row planting, usually with a tandem or staggered orientation of the crop.
Technical data of System
1. Dripline: Hard plastic (polyethylene)
2. Dripper: Hard plastic (polyethylene)
Hydrogol drip hose
For a 0.1 ha (a quarter acre) field, a tank with a capacity of 3,330 litres (880 gallons) or more is recommended.
For a 0.1 ha (a quarter acre) field, a tank with a capacity of 3,330 litres (880 gallons) or more is recommended. A typical 0.1 ha (1/4 acre) plot with drip lines spaced 1.5 m (5 ft) apart and drippers every -254 m ( 10 inches) has 2400 emitters, and with a discharge rate of 0.37L/hr/emitter, then the overall discharge is 880L/hr (2400 X 0.37). Hence, with a tank capacity of 3,330 litres, a tank will give approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes of water before it is empty.
Stand for Tank
Note: Other types of materials such as iron pipes, in addition to wet packing of stones, can be used for stand construction. CAUTION: When filled with water, a 3,330-litre tank weighs approximately four tonnes.
Further information can be had from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) by calling 1-888-ASK-RADA or by logging on to www.rada.gov.jm.