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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINING RURAL ECONOMIES THROUGH NEW WATER MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES Title: Surface drip irrigation (SDI): Status of the technology in 2010

item Lamm, Freddie -
item Bordovsky, James -
item Schwankl, Lawrence -
item Grabow, Garry -
item Medina, Juan Enciso -
item Peters, Troy -
item Colaizzi, Paul
item Trooien, Todd -
item Porter, Dana -

Submitted to: Decennial National Irrigation Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2010
Publication Date: December 5, 2010
Citation: Lamm, F.R., Bordovsky, J.P., Schwankl, L.J., Grabow, G.L., Medina, J., Peters, T.R., Colaizzi, P.D., Trooien, T.P., Porter, D.O. 2010. Surface drip irrigation (SDI): Status of the technology in 2010. In: Proceedings of the 5th Decennial National Irrigation Symposium, December 5-8, 2010, Phoenix, Arizona. Paper No:IRR10-9847.2010 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) has been used to irrigate a variety of crops in the United States. SDI can achieve high crop water use efficiency if proper design, operation, and maintenance procedures are followed. More farmers are using SDI because of recent improvements in its various components, as well as new knowledge on how to design and manage SDI systems. However, several barriers have prevented the more widespread adoption of SDI. The main barrier is the initial cost. Besides cost, many farmers feel that SDI is difficult to manage, and they feel that there is not enough education and technical support available. Many SDI systems have been damaged by rodents chewing on laterals, and this remains a serious problem in some areas. Continued research and education on SDI can overcome these problems. This will require cooperation between the irrigation industry, federal, state, and local agencies, and universities.

Technical Abstract: Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), although a much smaller fraction of the microirrigated land area than surface drip irrigation, is growing at a much faster rate and is the subject of considerable research and educational efforts in the United States. This paper will discuss the growth in SDI, highlight some of the research and extension efforts, and point out some of the challenges to SDI adoption and some of the future opportunities for SDI.

Last Modified: 8/27/2015
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