How important is irrigation to u.s agricultura


The irrigation of agricultural crops accounts for most (80 percent) of the Nation’s water consumption. That is why U.S. agriculture is central to the challenge of balancing increasing water demands for urban, industrial, and environmental uses.

The irrigation of agricultural crops accounts for most (80 percent) of the Nation’s water consumption. That is why U.S. agriculture is central to the challenge of balancing increasing water demands for urban, industrial, and environmental uses.Jun 5, 2017


What are the roles of irrigation on agriculture?

  • Agriculture is often greatly hampered due to irregular, insufficient or uncertain rain. …
  • The productivity of irrigated land is more than the un-irrigated land. …
  • Seeds cannot grow in dry soil as moisture is necessary for the germination of seeds. …
  • Multiple cropping in a year is possible through irrigation. …

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Why is irrigation important for agriculture?

What is the importance of Irrigation in India?

  • (1) About 80 per cent of the total annual rainfall of India occurs in four months, i.e. …
  • (2) The monsoons are uncertain. …
  • (3) It does not rain equally in all parts of the country. …
  • (4) Soils of some areas are sandy and loamy and therefore porous for which a major portion of rainwater sinks down very quickly. …

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Does agriculture use large amounts of water for irrigation?

Agriculture is a major user of ground and surface water in the United States, and irrigation has enhanced both the productivity and profitability of the agricultural sector. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, farms with some form of irrigation accounted for more than 54 percent of the total value of U.S. crop sales, while irrigated land accounted for less than 20 percent of harvested …

What are the sources of irrigation for farmers?

  • Well
  • Pond
  • Stream
  • River
  • Well
  • Canal
  • Dam
  • Glacier (for few places)

Why is irrigation important to us?

Irrigation water is essential for keeping fruits, vegetables, and grains growing to feed the world’s population, and this has been a constant for thousands of years.

Why is irrigation important today?

Water applied as irrigation allows for crop production in arid regions and supplements soil moisture in humid regions when growing season precipitation is insufficient. Irrigation has enhanced both the productivity and profitability of the agricultural sector.

Why is irrigation important for the environment?

Installing an irrigation system in your yard is a great way to help the environment, since irrigation systems provide the water that sustains agriculture and flora and fauna. Think of an irrigation system as a reservoir that collects rain and groundwater and distributes it evenly at a chosen time and place.

Why is irrigation important to farmers?

Irrigation in arid areas of the world provides two essential agricultural requirements: (1) a moisture supply for plant growth which also transports essential nutrients; and (2) a flow of water to leach or dilute salts in the soil.

What is irrigation and its benefits?

Irrigation is the critical input in the agrarian method which superintends the amount of water drizzling towards the root shrubs with regular interregnum. It artificially bestows the water by fulfilling the demand to safeguard the fast, nutritious growth of crops.

How does irrigation impact society?

Irrigation is clearly linked to increased agricultural output through both direct production effects and through its role in increasing the productivity of complementary inputs. Irrigation has been strongly associated with decreases in poverty, particularly amongst direct beneficiaries and urban consumers.

What is irrigation in agriculture?

Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil through various systems of tubes, pumps, and sprays. Irrigation is usually used in areas where rainfall is irregular or dry times or drought is expected. There are many types of irrigation systems, in which water is supplied to the entire field uniformly.

What is irrigation necessity?

If rainfall is less than the demand for plants, irrigation is necessary to fulfill the water requirement of plants. The difference in water holding capacity of the soil plays an important role in the Necessity of Irrigation supply. For example, sandy soil requires frequent irrigation than clay soil.

What percentage of the nation’s water is irrigation?

The irrigation of agricultural crops accounts for most (80 percent) of the Nation’s water consumption. That is why U.S. agriculture is central to the challenge of balancing increasing water demands for urban, industrial, and environmental uses.

Which region has the highest irrigation efficiency?

In the East, the Delta States region had the highest irrigation efficiency, with more efficient gravity systems accounting for nearly 60 percent of total irrigated acres.

Why is the USDA conservation program important?

USDA conservation programs provide financial and technical assistance to encourage the adoption of more efficient onfarm irrigation systems. Efficient irrigation systems can help maintain farm profitability in an era of increasingly limited and more costly water supplies.

What crops are irrigated on AIO?

Crops irrigated on AIO include corn, wheat, and soybeans as well as vegetables, berries, and nut trees. By comparison, crops irrigated on HUP (such as greenhouses) include floriculture crops, nursery crops, and mushrooms. In 2013, U.S. farms irrigated about 55.4 million acres.

How much water was used in 2013?

In 2013, U.S. farms irrigated about 55.4 million acres. This required the application of more than 88.5 million acre-feet (MAF) of water, equivalent to about 28.8 trillion gallons. The irrigation of AIO accounted for nearly all the water use (98 percent).

What is the difference between gravity and pressurized irrigation?

There are two main types of irrigation systems: gravity and pressurized irrigation. Gravity irrigation uses the force of gravity and field borders or furrows to distribute water across a field. Open ditches or pipe systems along with siphon tubes, ditch gates, pipe valves or orifices deliver the water to the field. Pressurized irrigation, on the other hand, delivers water to the field under pressure in lateral, hand-move, and center-pivot pipe systems with attached sprinklers. It may also use drip/trickle tubes and micro-spray systems with drip emitters or micro-spray nozzles to distribute water.

Do irrigated farms use water?

Most Irrigated Farms Are Low-Sales Operations, But Large Farms Use Most of the Water. The distribution of irrigated farms and acres and applied water varies significantly across farm size. Most irrigated farms in 2013 were low-sales operations with under $150,000 in annual farm sales: 67 percent of Western irrigated farms and 64 percent of U.S.

How is irrigation related to agriculture?

Irrigation in agriculture is dependent on the availability of water of a suitable quality. Water quality is assessed by the potential problems which can develop as result of long-term use. The extent of potential problems varies and is determined by soil, climate and crop, as well as the skill and knowledge of the water -user.

What is the section of Anusuya Rangarajan’s manual on crop rotation?

Anusuya Rangarajan’s manual on crop rotation has a section called Crop Rotation Effects on Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition that explains the importance of the education of farmers on the first technical solution mentioned earlier, crop rotation.

Why is topsoil considered the Great Economy?

Without topsoil, our ecosystem is going to vanish and destroyed by the power of humanity. Most importantly topsoil is regard as The Great Economy because “we cannot make any substitute for it; we cannot do what it does. It is apparently impossible to make an adequate description of top-soil in the sort of language that we have come to call scientific” (Berry 62).

What is the purpose of measuring water flow rate?

Water measuring, or determining of flow rate, is an aid for the effective distribution of water and is usually applied for the sake of legal requirements, management requirements, or both.

Why are plants important to the Earth?

Plants are essential elements of the earth ecosystem. Despite the importance of plants to support the life on our world, our understanding of their developmental processes is still fragmentary. In nature, plants grow next to each other forming the different societies of the plant kingdom.

Who manages water sources?

Most water sources are managed by Water Users Associations, which has to see to it that only the quantity of water allocated to each specific farm is pumped by or delivered to the farm for irrigation purposes.

Is California going through a drought?

California: Severe Drought Imagine a place where there is no food at all, now look at California. California can become this if we pass any groundwater laws. California is going through a major drought and there are ongoing debates on whether they should pass laws to regulate groundwater. The state should not be able to control groundwater. They should leave the groundwater for the farmers to distribute and use.

What is sprinkler irrigation?

Sprinkler irrigation is best used to water landscapes that have irregular shapes, sizes, and slopes. These aren’t your typical neighborhood sprinklers that kids run through, however; these are industrial-size, and range across acres of farmland to properly irrigate it. Agricultural land, in some areas of the country, can feel like a desert and can seem virtually moisture-free. Proper irrigation can improve the moisture levels throughout your entire property, improve crop production, and better your position within the agricultural industry.

How does drip irrigation work?

Another smaller irrigation process, drip irrigation uses poly tubes to coat a small area, usually the root of the crop, with a light layer of water. By installing emitters on individual plants, trees, or crop, farmers can custom irrigate just about anything on their property. The actual drip system can be installed underground or aboveground to irrigate any specific agricultural object.

Can you use micro irrigation on farm land?

Micro irrigation can still cover extremely large farm properties, but can also irrigate individual pieces of land at the property owner’s discretion. By using small, low-volume sprinklers, farmers can water individual acres, a small garden, a patch of trees, or — provided enough micro sprinklers are present — hundreds of acres of farmland.

Why is irrigation important in agriculture?

The importance of irrigation in agriculture and proper water storage. Water, an essential resource for crop production, is an increasingly scarce asset, while the area devoted to crops continues to grow due to the progressive increase in the world’s population .

Where does agricultural water come from?

The water destined for agricultural use is obtained from rivers, lakes, wells, sewage treatment plants, and by seawater desalination processes, as well as from water reservoirs or rafts in those places where a constant flow is not available.

How much water is needed to produce wheat?

And, if we consider that to produce a kilogram of wheat (including straw and grain), it is necessary to consume about 450 liters of water, and that a person’s food requires 0.23 hectares and 3,000 liters per day for its production, we realize the enormous amount of water that must be used for agricultural use.

What is irrigation in agriculture?

Most people think that irrigation is all about watering the crops, and this is certainly the primary function. They’re either watered overhead, or via the soil, and this form of reticulation uses only the necessary amount of water for environmental reasons.

What is irrigation used for?

In some areas, irrigation is used to help with weed control, especially in rice and other grain fields. This is mostly when managing aquatic weeds, although a system called buried drip irrigation can be used, where drip tape deprives the weeds of water, while keeping plants hydrated.

What is surface irrigation?

When most people think of irrigation, they’re talking about surface irrigation, where sprinklers move across the surface of the land, wetting the soil. This allows for crops to be watered easily, and means farmers don’t have to worry about lack of rain.

Where are sprinklers used?

Sprinklers are a type of irrigation often used in people’s back yards, but they’re also useful in agriculture. Sprinklers can be placed at set points, and programmed to water efficiently, or you may see travelling sprinklers which move around different points of the farm.

Early Irrigation in Egypt

The River Nile flooded its banks for several months each year. The Egyptians diverted the floodwaters to nearby fields to enable farmers to grow crops that, without the presence of life-giving water, would otherwise have been impossible.

Early Irrigation in Mesopotamia

Meanwhile, in Mesopotamia, the floodwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were used in a similar way. In fact, it was the Sumerians who are credited with the first irrigation engineering works in history when they built a series of canals which it is now thought could have been used for 1000 years before they needed replacing.

The Sumerians

The Sumerians, who inhabited Sumer, humankind’s first big civilisation, were great innovators, and in their efforts to transform the desert into an oasis, they invented what is thought to be the world’s first plough which appeared around 3500 BC.

The Depletion of Underground Water

Water is a limited resource, with agriculture requiring approximately 70% of global water. It will be critically important to develop new technologies to help us manage, regulate and optimise the best use of water as underground reserves are slowly being depleted.

The Importance of New Irrigation Technologies

Agriculture has a serious duty of care. Where possible, it needs to move away from flood irrigation, which despite the water wastage it involves, is still the most-used irrigation technique worldwide.

Drip Irrigation to the Rescue

One of the biggest technological breakthroughs in irrigation science in the 20 th century was the development of drip irrigation. It has the ability to deliver water to the root systems of crops and thereby reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation by as much as 70%.

The Netherlands Leads the Race on Water Reuse

While reducing water wastage is a prime concern for irrigation, another important factor is the reuse of water. The Netherlands is leading the race. They’ve put plans in place to ensure that all of their greenhouses reuse drainage water by the year 2030.

How will precision irrigation benefit the agricultural sector?

To match the pace of demand, it will mean that farmers will need twice the volume of water and the area of arable land. However, both resources are in worrying decline.

What are the challenges of irrigation?

Irrigation for framers today poses increasing challenges. They come from new legislation, climate change, the increasing dangers from drought and flood events, as well as the need for greater accountability and the expectations on sustainability.

What is precision irrigation?

The concept of precision irrigation is to get water and nutrients directly to the root systems of the crops in measured doses that will enable the optimisation of moisture levels at the root zone. To be successful, the amount of water and nutrients delivered must be no less and no more than the plant needs.

Is water a natural resource?

Water is one of the most precious natural resources on the planet, and making sure we use it efficiently is everyone’s business. People with private gardens and households can have a significant impact on how much water is wasted, and in the meantime, the agricultural industry has to step up.

What do farmers use to irrigate their crops?

In many western states, farmers use a combination of groundwater and surface water to irrigate their crops. Water rights have historically been based on seniority, and there are often complex agreements between states, upstream and downstream users, and municipal buyers in order to ensure a fair and sustainable water supply.

How many acres of land were used for irrigation in 2000?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, roughly 29.4 million acres used flood irrigation in 2000, while 28.3 million used spray irrigation.

How can farmers protect their crops from droughts?

Water harvesting and storage is one way in which farmers can protect their crops from droughts and water shortages. This can include collecting rainwater, as well as runoff from streams and catchments for use in future years. Some farms use aboveground storage ponds, while others use closed tanks and other man-made containers.


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