Isikwue et al
Greener Journal of Science, Engineering and Technological Research Vol. 6 (2), pp. 048-054, July 2016.
Manuscript Number: 061416105
Small Farm Gravity Drip Irrigation System for Crop Production
*1Isikwue MO, 2Ochedikwu Anthea EF and 3Onoja SB
1Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, University of Agriculture, Makurdi – Nigeria.
2Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Abuja – Nigeria.
3Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, University of Agriculture, Makurdi – Nigeria.
This study involves the construction, installation and testing of a small farm gravity drip irrigation system on a land area of 900m2 (30mx30m). It was done using a network of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes of three sizes (which served as the main, submain and laterals), control valves (located on the sub main) and micro emitters (which controlled uniform application of water and fertilizer directly into the root zone of the plant by gravity). The water application uniformity of the system was determined by measuring emitter flow rates at the times required to fill a container of 1 litre. Fertigation chamber was incorporated into the system for fertilizer application. The average discharge rate from the emitters was 5.5 l/hr. The average wetting diameter and wetting depth of 60 cm and 1.5 m respectively were achieved. The emission uniform of 85% and above compared favourably with micro irrigation uniformity classification standard based on American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE). It is recommended that the system be flushed after each irrigation season to prevent clogging.
KEYWORDS: Irrigation, Fertigation, Emitter, Gravity, Clogging, Drip.
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