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Chapter 17: Sprinkler Irrigation

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

Citation:  Pages 403-435 (doi:10.13031/swce.2013.17) in Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, 7th Edition . Copyright 2013 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Mich.
Authors:   Rodney L. Huffman, Delmar D. Fangmeier, William J. Elliot, Stephen R. Workman
Keywords:   Soil, water, conservation, environment, Sprinkler Irrigation, 17.1 Sprinkler Systems, 17.2 Evaporation and Wind Drift, 17.3 Distribution Pattern of Sprinklers, 17.4 System Requirements, Intermittent- or Set-Move Systems, 17.5 General Rules for Sprinkler S

Introductory paragraphs: Sprinkler irrigation is a versatile means of applying water to any crop, soil, and topographic condition. It is popular because (1) surface ditches are not necessary, (2) prior land preparation is minimal, and (3) pipes are easily transported and provide no obstructions to farm operations when irrigation is not needed. According to the "2000 Irrigation Survey" in Irrigation Journal (2001), about 12 500 000 ha or 49.9% of the irrigated land in the U.S. is irrigated with sprinkler systems.

Sprinkling is suitable for sandy soils or other soil and topographic conditions where surface irrigation may be inefficient or expensive, or where erosion may be particularly hazardous. Low rates and amounts of water may be applied, such as are required for seed germination, frost protection, delay of fruit budding, and cooling of crops in hot weather. Fertilizers and soil amendments may be dissolved in the water and applied through the irrigation system. The major concerns of sprinkler systems are investment costs and labor requirements (Chapter 15).

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