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Evolution and InnovationSave Biodiversity...Rise

Sprinkler Irrigation


Function Applying the water above the ground surface in the form of spray resembling rainfall through the nozzle with a pump
  • A minimum of 1.0 kg/cm2 pressure needed to operate one sprinkler head to cover a diameter of 12 m
  • Owing to the non economy of operating one sprinkler head, a pressure range of 

    4-5 kg/cm2 is normally needed for operating 4 sprinkler heads at a time
  • It is better to operate under wind speed less than 15 KMPH to avoid drift loss in normal field holdings
  • Use of sprinkler early in the morning and late in the evening is preferable to minimize the evaporation losses   


Cost Approximately Rs. 30000 – 40000 per ha.
Salient features
  • Ideally suitable for hilly terrains with undulating slope
  • Suitable for estate crops like tea, coffee etc.
  • Suited to crops like groundnut, cotton and the crops which are not susceptible to easy flower shedding
  • 30 – 40 % saving in cost than conventional irrigation


Water requirement of field crops with sprinkler irrigation system:

Actual water used (mm) Water saving over surface irrigation (%) WUE Kg/ha/mm
Groundnut 390 24.7 5.13
Cotton 308 50.5 9.8
Soybean 380 50.0 4.77
Blackgram 140 50.0 8.82
Lucerne 124   63.0

5. General constraints and remedies

  • Initial cost for installation is high
  • Land holdings are small
  • Equipment has a long life of 10 years
  • Grouping of farmers to operate the system will minimize the cost per unit holding
  • One kilogram per square centimeter pressure is needed to operate one sprinkler to cover a diameter of 12 m.
  • Training the farmers will equip them with the knowledge about sprinkler
  • Periodical checkup of nozzles to avoid blocking and proper coverage of diameter
  • Wind distorts the sprinkler pattern and affect uniformity
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