Flood irrigation: what is it and which crops are irrigated this way?

Flood irrigation is one of the oldest and simplest irrigation methods available.

Flood irrigation is one of the oldest and simplest irrigation methods available. Since ancient times, farmers have used this technique to irrigate their crops, taking advantage of the natural flooding of rivers and streams to moisten their land. Today it is still used in many parts of the world, especially in rural areas and in specific crops such as rice.

Although it may seem like an outdated method of irrigation, flood irrigation still offers some advantages over more modern methods, especially in areas with low water resources. The purpose of this article is to explain in detail what is flood irrigation, what are its advantages and disadvantages, what crops are irrigated with this method and how its efficiency can be improved.


What is Flood Irrigation?

To apply flood irrigation, a system of channels or furrows is used in the soil filled with water.

When we talk about flood irrigation, we are referring to an irrigation method in which water is applied to an agricultural plot. temporarily flooding the ground. This technique is commonly used in areas where water is plentiful and cheap, and the land is relatively flat.

Apply flood irrigation a system of channels or furrows in the ground which are filled with water is used. Water is held in the field for a set period of time, usually several hours, until the soil absorbs enough water and the moisture is evenly distributed in the root zone of the plants. The water is then drained and returned to the water source.

Advantages and disadvantages

Flood irrigation has some advantages and disadvantages that are important to consider when deciding which irrigation method to use. These are some of the advantages of this technique:

  • East easy and cheap to implement, especially on relatively flat ground.
  • requires low maintenance and work.
  • East effective in terms of water use, since the water is applied directly to the ground and its loss by evaporation is avoided.
  • You can provide a uniform distribution water on the floor.
  • It can be used for a variety of crops including rice, alfalfa, sugar cane and others.

However, one must take into account the Disadvantages of this irrigation system. These are the following:

  • Maybe inappropriate For steep slopes or poorly drained soils.
  • This can cause the accumulation of salts in the soil. This can damage plants and reduce productivity.
  • Maybe difficult to control the amount of water which applies. Therefore, over or under application may occur.
  • he can contribute to water pollution and the spread of plant diseases. This is because the water used to flood the field may contain pathogens and other contaminants.
  • May require the the use of large amounts of water. This fact may not be sustainable in areas where water is scarce or water is expensive.

Which crops are irrigated by floods?

Flood irrigation is an irrigation method that can be used for various crops

This method of irrigation can be used to various cultures. The most common are:

  • Rice: It is a crop that adapts very well to flood irrigation, as it needs a very humid environment to develop properly. See file.
  • Sugar cane: It is commonly irrigated by floods, especially in areas with clay soils. See file.
  • Alfalfa: It is another crop that can be irrigated with this method, as its deep root system can access water left in the soil once the water has drained. See file.
  • Beans: It is a crop that is also commonly irrigated by floods, especially in areas where water is abundant and the soil has good water-holding capacity. See file.
  • But: Maize is also a crop that can be irrigated with this method, especially in areas with clay soils that retain water well. See file.
  • Green leafy vegetables: Many leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach, and kale, can be flood irrigated. However, it is important to take care to avoid the spread of pathogens through irrigation water.

In general, flood irrigation is more suitable for crops than They tolerate soil moisture and are not adversely affected by salt buildup.

How to make flood irrigation more efficient?

To make flood irrigation more efficient, it is important Consider a few important aspects. Here are some strategies that can be used:


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  • Control the amount of water applied: This can be done through the use of irrigation canals which allow the amount of water flowing into the field to be adjusted, as well as through the use of flow and pressure measurement systems.
  • Keep the floor in good condition: Well-prepared, level ground that is free of weeds and other obstructions can help ensure that water is distributed evenly across the field. Also, if it has a good structure, it can provide better water absorption and retention.
  • Avoid water loss: By avoiding excess water, we will not lose as much water runoff and unwanted areas. Floating booms can also be used to ensure the water stays in the desired area.
  • Check the water quality: Poor water quality can negatively affect plant growth and crop productivity. Water quality tests can be carried out to determine its salinity content, pH and other parameters.
  • Use complementary irrigation practices: To improve the efficiency of flood irrigation, supplemental irrigation practices such as drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, and other irrigation methods can be used. Using these irrigation methods can help reduce the amount of water needed to irrigate the field and can also help reduce salt buildup in the soil.

As you can see, flood irrigation is a system that has many aspects to consider. The choice of the best method depends on the terrain and the type of crop we have.

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