Thanks for signing up!

Look for the Digest in your email twice a month.

Follow Us

Sign up for our Digest to receive the latest agronomic insights and crop management advice for your primary growing region delivered twice a month to your inbox.

Reduce Vegetable Production Costs With Drip Irrigation

July 8, 2016

Conserving water and reducing costs is always a priority for vegetable growers nationwide. Implementing drip irrigation is one way to conserve water for more sustainable production, according to Penn State University.


As a University of Florida study explains, drip irrigation allows for a controlled application of water by allowing water to drip slowly near the plant roots through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. And when properly managed, it can reduce labor and production costs and improve productivity, all benefiting the grower’s bottom line.

Some advantages of a drip irrigation system include:

  • Requires half to a quarter of the volume of water required by comparable overhead irrigation systems
  • Allows for joint management of irrigation and fertilization
  • Doesn’t wet the row middles or the foliage of the crops like overhead irrigation, which helps reduce pest problems
  • Requires lower operating pressure than overhead irrigation
  • Can be managed and programmed with an AC- or battery-powered controller
  • Adaptable to oddly-shaped fields or those with uneven topography or soil texture, maximizing the use of available land
  • Enhances earliness and crop uniformity (when combined with raised beds, polyethylene mulch and transplants)

Best practices

Experts at Penn State University provide a few tips on how growers can maximize their drip irrigation system:

  • Check filters daily and clean if necessary. A clogged screen filter can be cleaned with a stiff bristle brush or by soaking in water
  • Backwash sand filters to remove particulates and organic contaminants
  • Check drip lines for leakage. A large, wet area in the field indicates a leaking drip line. Leaking lines can be repaired by splicing with an inline connector or bypassed with a short piece of feeder tube
  • Use water treatment chemicals to dissolve excessive mineral deposits and remove buildup of organic contaminants in water supply lines

Sign up for the Know More, Grow More Digest to receive twice-monthly agronomic email updates pertinent to your area.

Syngenta hereby disclaims liability for third party websites.