As drought conditions continue in parts of the U.S., farmers are increasingly looking to optimize their water use. One option that’s being used for crops such as corn and cotton is subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), which delivers water and nutrients to plants at the root level.
Three of the top SDI businesses–Netafim, The Toro Company and John Deere–offer numerous resources online to farmers who are curious about how the systems work or who are interested in building a subsurface network of their own. Here’s a sampling:
Resource: Drip-Micro Irrigation Payback Wizard
What it does: Plug in a few basic details–state, crop, acres, current irrigation type and water cost per acre foot–to learn how long it would take an SDI system to pay for itself on your operation. Then learn how many extra acres you could water with what’s left over.
Resource: Agriculture Literature
What it does: This page provides readers with in-depth details about available products, crop applications, pricing and more.
The Toro Company
What it does: This website from Toro offers information on crop-specific drip irrigation applications, key definitions, Payback Wizard and more. There’s also an installation video.
Resource: Typical Drip System Layout interactive graphic
What it does: Watch an animation showing how several kinds of drip systems work. Then download that information for further review as a PDF.
Resource: Animated SDI system
What it does: Watch a video depicting how a subsurface irrigation system works.
Resource: SDI maintenance guide
What it does: Get practical tips for keeping your SDI system in good shape.