Irrigation is a very old agricultural technique, emerged millennia ago. It serves to promote the controlled supply of water to agricultural crops, aiming to guarantee productivity, even in the absence of rain.
Thus, for the success of production, the combination of several factors (soil preparation, seed, water and others) is essential. In the case of water, irrigation acquires significant importance.
However, Marcus Sato, Business Delevopment at Agrosmart, emphasizes that it is not enough to have irrigation equipment "It is up to the producer to know the plant, the soil, the atmosphere and the entire agricultural system of each property".
The producer must also not just “throw” water in the field that everything is resolved. It is necessary to provide the correct amount for the needs, avoiding excess and shortage.
Therefore, we have developed 4 steps to calculate irrigation within your property and thus obtain better results from your crop.
1 - Each crop has its water requirement
To be successful with agricultural irrigation it is important that the producer understands that each crop needs a different amount of water during its life cycle, and that each soil type has a different capacity to store water.
“It is essential to take into account the crop that is being irrigated, as well as the stage in which it is”, explains Eduardo Fernandes Hendler, from Carretéis Irrigat.
Thus, an agricultural system on the farms that is better calibrated to the requirements will allow for intelligent irrigation, allowing for high productivity, saving water and electricity.
It is also worth remembering that irrigation management covers the following basic objectives of agricultural activity:
- Maximize crop productivity;
- Improve product quality;
- Minimize the cost of water and energy;
- Increase the efficiency of fertilizers;
- Decrease the incidence of diseases and pests;
- Maintain or improve the Sun's chemical and physical conditions.
2 - Irrigation calculation varies according to the region's climate
Due to its continental dimensions, Brazil has the most varied climates. These potentially interfere with the crop's water requirements and also with the capacity of the irrigation system. For example, the water requirement of corn in the Northeast region of Brazil is much greater than that of corn in the South region.
“The best irrigation managements are those that take into account all the information specific to each area of the farm, not only the type of soil – which can vary a lot within a few hectares – but also the variability of rainfall”, says Marcus Sato.
Agrosmart representative also explains that localized weather forecasts for the farms also help to improve management and improve accuracy in agricultural planning. “For these reasons, each irrigation management sector must be treated in a different way”, he says.
3 - Know all the methodologies to perform the irrigation calculation
According to the representative of Agrosmart, there are several methodologies that can be adopted to carry out irrigation management. According to him, the most used in the market are mathematical models that combine variables of the atmosphere (weather stations) and soil (soil moisture sensors).
“Combining this data with analysis of the irrigation system, crops, soil and weather forecasts, better irrigation times and the ideal quantity to meet the demand for the crop are generated”, adds Sato. It is also important to pay attention to the rules for the use of electricity in each region so as not to irrigate at times with the most expensive energy cost.
These factors, when combined, allow the calculation of an intelligent irrigation that is able to meet the crop's water demand and is more profitable to the farmer.
This is exactly why the ideal is to look for a company or a qualified technician to measure all the important variables when choosing the ideal irrigation system, in addition to labor, yield, capacity and maintenance cost.
4 - The type of irrigation impacts the calculations. Be aware of this!
Finally, both Hendler and Sato emphasize that the type of irrigation to be adopted has a direct impact on the calculation of this management. Here's what they say about it.
“To calculate the capacity, it is necessary to know the yield, flow, reach and other factors that vary from one irrigation system to another”, says Hendler.
“Each type of irrigation has a different behavior. The emission of water as well as its efficiency can change, even if they are the same types. The operating time and flow also depend on each project. With that, the more intelligent managements consider these characteristics to generate the irrigation calculations”, indicates Sato.
Thus, the best way to find the best irrigation system and check if its capacity is correct for the needs, is to seek specialized technical assistance, in addition to talking to users of a given system that have been using it for a longer time.
Furthermore, with the tips presented, it is now possible to calculate the irrigation for your crop without errors. Now, all you have to do is seek specialized advice and increase the productivity of your crop through irrigation.