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Sub-surface drip irrigation

Sub surface drip irrigation (SSDI) systems involve the placement of permanent drip tapes below the ground which supply water directly to the crop root zone.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this system?

This system has the potential to be the most efficient irrigation application system if properly designed, installed and managed. There is no wind disturbance and the uniformity of water application is high when compared with other irrigation systems.

Water application is below the soil surface and only a small area is wet. There is no surface crusting, ponding water and surface run-off does not occur during irrigation. It can allow greater control and accurate scheduling.

The application of light (low volume) irrigation is possible with this system and any size and shaped area can be catered. Labour requirements are less compared to other systems and there is potential for improved yield and quality of the crop.

The high capital cost is the main impediment to the adoption of SSDI technology with ongoing operating costs and difficulties with management a further concern.

The comparisons between SSDI, overhead irrigation techniques and border check irrigation systems are valuable. You could consider these comparisons during the preparation of a Whole Farm Plan.

For further information refer to:

For further information contact:

Agriculture Victoria Irrigation Officers

Tatura – (03) 5833 5222

Echuca – (03) 5482 1922

Kerang – (03) 5473 0180

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