What is the difference between drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation system?

drip Irrigation Vs Sprinkler Irrigation

Difference between Drip Irrigation and Sprinkler Irrigation

Irrigation is the process through which controlled amount of water can be supplied through artificial means such as pipes, ditches, sprinklers etc. The main objective of irrigation systems is to help agricultural crop growth, landscape maintenance and reduce the effect of inadequate rainfall. Therefore, the importance of irrigation systems is very high.

However, many farmers are finding it hard to choose an irrigation system that can best serve them. In this article we are going to cover two of the most popular irrigation systems that save both water in their own way and are highly efficient.

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Drip Irrigation


Drip irrigation is a type of micro-irrigation system that has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. The goal is to place water directly into the root zone and minimize evaporation.

Drip irrigation system reduces water consumption by 50%. With drip irrigation, water applications are more frequent which provides a more favorable moisture level for the plants to thrive.

Advantages of Drip Irrigation

  • Water is used at maximum optimum level.
  • As water is applied locally and leaching is reduced, fertilizer/nutrient loss is minimized.
  • Weeds cannot absorb water as no water is available for them and thus grow in less number
  • Crop yield is maximum
  • Fertilizers can be used with high efficiency.
  • Minimum operating cost
  • No soil erosion
  • Soil infiltration capacity is increased.
  • Fertilizers and ground water is not mixed.
  • Seed germination is improved.
  • We can use recycled water safely.
  • It is not necessary to level the fields.
  • We can irrigate water in irregular shaped lands.
  • Waste of fertilizers is reduced by 50%
  • Energy cost is reduced as it is operated in lower pressure than other irrigation methods.

Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation

  • Initial cost is high.
  • May cause clogging if water is not filtered correctly.
  • Problems in moisture distribution.
  • Salinity problem.

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Sprinkler Irrigation

sprinkler irrigation - agriculturalinformation4u

Sprinkler irrigation is a method of applying irrigation water which is similar to natural rainfall. Water is distributed through a system of pipes usually by pumping. It is then sprayed into the air through sprinklers so that it breaks up into small water drops which fall to the ground.

Sprinkler irrigation is a type of pressurized irrigation that consists of applying water to the soil surface using mechanical and hydraulic devices that simulate natural rainfall.

Advantages of Sprinkler Irrigation System

  • Affordable and easy to set up.
  • Water measurement is easier than surface irrigation system.
  • Less interference with cultivation and less land loss.
  • High and frequent application can be effectively accomplished.
  • Easy mechanization and automation.

Disadvantages of Sprinkler Irrigation System

  • High operating cost.
  • Water will drift when there is a lot of wind.
  • A stable water supply is needed.
  • Saline water may cause problem.
  • Water must be free from sand, debris and large amount of salt.

Hope the above information mentioning the difference between drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation will help you to make a wise decision to choose the right  irrigation system  for your farm.

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