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Irrigation system on a corn field

When irrigation is called the open spraying water on agriculturally or horticulturally used areas to meet the water demand of commercial or ornamental plants . Water is a growth factor required in all life processes of plants. According to the law of the minimum, even with sufficient supply of all other growth factors, a lack of water reduces growth and thus the yield, up to and including the death of the plants. Like other forms of irrigation, it serves, among other things, to improve turgescence and avert wilt . Irrigation is only one of the various possible measures for artificial irrigation and is only common in temperate climates. At high air temperatures high evaporation losses can occur, irrigation should then take place at night and in the early morning hours if possible.

Irrigation is also used to ward off frost damage , in this case regardless of whether there is sufficient water as a growth factor. A frost protection irrigation can take place among others in sensitive spring crops such as strawberries, potatoes, vines and fruit crops.

In the timber industry , irrigation is used to preserve felled timber in the so-called wet storage and in the construction industry, for example, to bind dust during demolition work .


Control unit of a sprinkler system
Sprinkled area near Dörpen from the air

In addition to fixed or changeable pipe or hose systems with sprinklers with a shorter range, irrigation machines with a long range are also used, which can largely automatically irrigate very large areas such as fields .

Components of a modern irrigation system are a water source (well), water storage tank, pump , gate valve , pipeline and sprinkler as well as a control system with decoders and solenoid valves . Irrigation systems are used to irrigate agricultural areas , golf courses , gardens, private gardens and horse stables. In the case of larger systems, the pipelines comprise around 60% of the value of a sprinkler system. They mostly consist of PE hoses. Irrigation is widespread in modern agriculture in temperate climates and has made regions with sandy soils and / or low levels of precipitation fertile.


By means of frost protection sprinkling, energy is artificially supplied to the plants, bushes or trees to be protected during night frosts in spring. The artificial rain supplied during frosty nights freezes on the plants. When the state of aggregation of the water changes to ice, energy is released, which protects the plants from freezing in a thin layer of air between the leaf and the layer of ice. Frost protection irrigation can be found in sensitive spring crops such as fruit growing during flowering. Even after the morning temperature rise, watering must continue until the ice has melted. An emerging wind could lead to evaporation cold, so that the ice-covered plants can freeze to death even when it is warm.

Preservation of wood

In the wet storage, logs that have been felled are irrigated so that they are not attacked by insects such as bark beetles or fungi until they are processed in the sawmill . The irrigation also prevents dry cracks or shrinkage cracks . Preserved in this way, the fresh wood can be stored for years without any loss of quality.

Dust binding

In many areas of the processing industry, the development of dust and the associated strain on employees and technology is playing an increasing role. For this reason, companies are subject to corresponding requirements by the environmental authorities. Dust control has become a necessity in certain industries and is sometimes an essential factor in occupational health.

Picture gallery

Irrigation system for larger areas:

See also


  • For irrigation in horticulture or agriculture: Ulrich Sachweh (editor): Der Gärtner, Volume 1, Basics of Horticulture. 5th edition, Ulmer, Stuttgart 1984, 2001, ISBN 3-8001-1184-5 , p. 466 ff.

Web links

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