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Drip Irrigation for Small Plots 2007 Small Farm Conference and Trade Show Moriarty, NM November 2-4, 2007

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Drip Irrigation for Small Plots 2007 Small Farm Conference and Trade Show Moriarty, NM November 2-4, 2007
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  Drip Irrigation for Small Plots 2007 Small Farm Conference and Trade ShowMoriarty, NM November 2-4, 2007 Dan SmealNew Mexico State UniversityAgricultural Science Center at Farmington  What is Drip Irrigation? •The slow, frequent application of small volumes of irrigation water to the base or root zone of plants.•Also referred to as trickle or microirrigation.•Not new: Modern use began in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s after the introduction of plastic  pipe  Characteristics of Drip Low Volume & Low Pressure •Drip flow rates generally range from 0.5 to 2.0 gallons per hour (gph)  per outlet (can exceed 20 gph).•Operating pressures range from 2 to 6 pounds  per square inch (psi) in gravity systems up to 15 to 30 psi(high pressure systems). •Sprinkler systems, in contrast:  –Flow rates range from 2 to 20 gallons perminute (gpm)  per sprinkler. –At pressures ranging from 25 –100 psi.  –Large guns can have flow rates approaching 100 gpm.  Characteristics of DripLocalized Application of Water  •Soil Wetted Area (diameter)  –Coarse Sand: 0.5 to 1.5 feet –Fine Sand: 1.0 –3.0 feet –Loam: 3.0 to 4.5 feet –Heavy Clay: 4.0 –6.0 feet •As opposed to sprinkler or flood where the entire soil surface is wetted.  DripIrrigation on a Sandy Loam Soil
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