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Current Status of Microsprinkler Irrigation in the United States

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 28(3): 359-366. (doi: 10.13031/2013.41495) @2012
Authors:   B. Boman, B. Sanden, T. Peters, L. Parsons
Keywords:   Microirrigation, Microsprinkler, Orchard, Design, Operation, Maintenance

Microsprinkler irrigation is often the preferred method of irrigation for tree and vine crops since it provides a greater degree of freeze protection than drip irrigation and provides water and energy savings over sprinkler and flood irrigation methods. With chemigation, microirrigation also provides an economical method of applying fertilizer and other agricultural chemicals on a timely basis. However, microsprinkler systems generally require more maintenance than drip or overhead systems, and they require a higher level of management expertise than sprinkler or flood irrigation methods. This article discusses the current status of design, operation, and maintenance of microsprinkler systems and the benefits and limitations of these systems for several agricultural crops. Types and characteristics of available microsprinklers are discussed in relation to appropriate application considering crops, soils, and management philosophy. Topics include uniformity, clogging, insect problems, wetting patterns, emitter maintenance, chemigation, system evaluation, management for both young and mature trees, crop response, and freeze protection.

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