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How to improve irrigation in your farm

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America is running out of fresh water. Population growth is increasing the demand for water consumption, which is putting severe pressure on the country’s water resources. Scientists estimate that within the next 50 years, many regions of the United States will lose more than a third of their freshwater resources.

a Study Posted in future of earth The magazine revealed that by 2071, nearly half of America’s 204 freshwater basins may not be able to meet the nation’s water demand. With all the heavy rains and floods in the country, it is easy to assume that we have more than enough water to meet the country’s needs. needed. But the demand for water far exceeds the supply, which means America will face a crisis. water crisis In the near future. You must be wondering where is all our water going? Everything we do, from construction to manufacturing and washing, consumes water. But most of our water is used to irrigate fields for growing crops to feed a growing population.

irrigation and water use

Agriculture is a water-intensive process. you’d be surprised How much Growing food on your table requires water. It takes one gallon of water to grow an almond nut, 60 gallons to grow an avocado, and 660 gallons of water to make the ingredients for a hamburger. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), irrigating fields consumes up to 80 percent of the country’s freshwater resources. Agriculture consumes so much of the country’s water supply, improving irrigation efficiency can help avert the water crisis.

improve irrigation efficiency

A small increase in irrigation efficiency can have a significant impact on a country’s future water supply. Reducing irrigation water use by just two percent could prevent a third of US freshwater basins decrease within the next 50 years. Fortunately, there are several strategies farmers can use to improve irrigation efficiency and conserve more water. Modern irrigation systems and sustainable agricultural practices can help avert a national water crisis.

Efficient irrigation systems like drip irrigation can help farmers grow crops more sustainably. drip irrigation Can reduce water use by more than 60 percent compared to sprinklers, helping farmers grow more food with much less water. However, installing drip irrigation systems can be costly and very high-maintenance, which makes them cost-effective for growing only high-value crops.

If you can’t install a drip irrigation system in your field, don’t worry. There are other sustainable farming practices that can help you improve irrigation efficiency. Practicing organic farming methods is another effective strategy that can help you make the most of every drop of water.

How does organic farming improve irrigation efficiency?

Organic farming

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focused on increasing organic farming soil Improve irrigation efficiency and conserve more water quality. Organic farming techniques such as compost and mulching improve soil health. Healthy soil rich in organic matter has a better ability to retain moisture, which means you’ll have to water your crops less frequently. Good quality soil acts like a sponge, holding water to the roots of the crop when conditions become dry.

Improving soil quality will help you grow more crops with very little water. research done by Rodale Institute found that organic farms produce 40 percent more crop yields than conventional crops during times of drought. Organic farming techniques that promote soil health can be used to grow crops more sustainably. Sustainable farming practices produce additional food with less water, feeding more people while conserving Earth’s most precious resource.

Do you want to improve the eco-friendliness and sustainability of your farm? Follow these sustainable organic farming practices to promote soil health and promote water conservation:

Compost

Compost is decomposed organic material traditionally made from scraps of leaves, chopped twigs and vegetables. Compost Enriching the soil is a great way to recycle dead leaves and other yard waste into a useful product. Gardeners and farmers consider manure to be “black gold” because rich soil amendments offer great benefits in agriculture. Composting makes the soil easier to work with and improves its water holding properties.

How effective is composting at helping soil retain water? soil can catch It takes 16,500 gallons of water per acre to a foot deep for every 1% fertilizer applied. In other words, compost helps the soil hold a lot of moisture, which means you don’t need to water your crops as frequently. Composting helps plants survive prolonged drought and water stress, increasing crop yields and productivity.

how to make compost

Compost

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Now that you know how composting can improve irrigation efficiency, you’re probably thinking of adding some compost to your soil to save even more water. You can buy bagged compost from the store, but we recommend making them at home to reduce pollution and save money. You can use and combine any of these ingredients to make compost at home:

  • tissue and newspaper
  • fruit and vegetable scraps
  • leaves and grass clippings
  • chopped twigs and branches

Methods for making compost range from three parts brown to one part greens. Brown is plant material that is obtained from trees and includes leaves, twigs, paper, etc. Greens are fresh and juicier plants that include grass and kitchen waste. Brown contains carbon while green contains nitrogen, both of which are necessary for decomposition.

Once you have the correct ratio of brown to green (3:1), to make compost you need to:

  1. Cut or chop large objects such as twigs and branches into smaller pieces
  2. In a compost bin or open-air pile, add a six to eight-inch layer of plant material followed by a one-inch layer of soil or compost.
  3. Sprinkle some water on the pile to keep the mixture moist, but not wet
  4. Add organic fertilizers such as blood or feather meal to supply additional nitrogen to speed up the decomposition process.
  5. Repeat steps (2 to 4) until your pile is three to four feet tall.
  6. Use a garden fork to swirl the mixture; Rotate the mixture every few days to speed up the decomposition process.
  7. Keep the pile moist and aerated; It will take two to four months for the plant material to completely decompose and turn into compost.

And, voila! You have made your own homemade compost. Work one to two inches of your homemade compost into the top five inches of the soil to increase its quality and improve your farm’s irrigation efficiency.

diversify crop rotation

Weeds are a major problem in agriculture. These unproductive plants compete with crops for water, light and NutrientsLeading to low food production and waste of precious water resources. Preventing weed growth is essential to save more water in your farm and improve irrigation efficiency. Diversifying crop rotation is the easiest and most economical way to keep your field weed free and promote water conservation.

The concept of diversifying crop rotations is simple. All you have to do is not plant the same crop in the same spot year after year. Weeds thrive in the environment they have adapted to. Planting crops with different characteristics will keep changing the soil environment, preventing weeds from adapting to your farm’s growing conditions. An Iowa State University Study has found that rotational variation can reduce weed density by up to 65 percent, resulting in significant water savings on your farm.

Tips for diversifying crop circles

Crop circle

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Crop diversity is the key to preventing weed infestations and reducing the use of irrigation water on your farm. How can you diversify the crop rotation to suppress weed growth? An easy way is to divide your crops into different plant groups. There are four plant groups:

  1. Fruit Crops – Tomato, Cucumber, Brinjal, Melon
  2. Leafy Crops – Spinach, Lettuce, Cabbage, Herbs
  3. Root crops – onions, carrots, radishes, turnips
  4. Legumes – beans, peas, lentils, peanuts peanut

Alternate between different plant groups when growing crops in your field. For example, if you’re growing tomatoes and cucumbers this year, plant radishes and turnips in the same location the following season. Diverse plant groups will create different biological, chemical and physical environments in the soil, which help prevent weeds from growing and growing in your field.

mulch

Mulch is a layer of material that is applied to the surface of the soil. The layer acts as a protective barrier, improving water retention and reducing moisture evaporation from the soil. Mulching increases the soil’s ability to retain moisture, thereby reducing the use of irrigation water in your field. You can use organic or inorganic materials for mulching, but we recommend organic matter because they decompose into compost over time and enrich your soil.

Common organic materials you can use for mulching include:

  • there
  • straw
  • chopped leaves
  • pieces of wood
  • grass clippings
  • Cardboard and paper

how to plant radishes

Mulching will prevent the soil from drying out, reducing the amount of water needed to irrigate your field. So how can you obtain and apply mulch? You can buy bags of mulch from a garden center, but it’s better to make your own to reduce waste. If you have trees on your property, you can cut off its dead leaves and make mulch out of them. You can collect the old Christmas tree and cut it into small pieces of wood and use it for mulching.

It is best to apply mulch in late spring and early fall as it helps stabilize soil temperatures during the summer and winter months. Here’s how you can mulch your soil in four easy steps:

  1. Use a rake to smooth the surface of the soil
  2. Apply a two-inch deep layer of mulch over the soil
  3. Rake the mulch to make an even layer
  4. Water the mulch to weigh it down and prevent it from blowing away

And there you have it. Mulching is a super easy and economical farming technique that can help in improving irrigation efficiency in your farm. Mulching your field twice a year to improve soil quality and save more water.

Adopt organic farming methods to improve irrigation efficiency

Agriculture is the largest consumer of the country’s freshwater resources. With the current rate of consumption, most of the country will face acute water shortage in the next few decades. Modern agricultural technologies are very effective in improving irrigation efficiency, but their high installation and maintenance costs make widespread adoption unattainable. Organic farming methods provide an economical solution to improving irrigation efficiency, helping farmers grow food more sustainably, using less water.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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