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Subsurface Irrigation Systems Drip Water When and Where It’s Needed to Support Higher Yields

A 40-year-old irrigation technology is seeing newly realized yield value as drought conditions, economic factors and resource scarcity issues intensify.

Initially adopted by U.S. vegetable, fruit and nut farmers in the 1960s and 1970s, subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) technology has rapidly advanced in the last two decades and continues to gain precision agriculture momentum.

Today’s SDI systems apply slow, frequent applications of water into soil and surrounding plant root zones through a system of driplines and emitters buried 10 to 18 inches below ground. SDI systems are well suited to support crop production in arid, semi-arid, hot and windy growing conditions such as those experienced by farmers in the High Plains states. Continue reading

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