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Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) is the practice of installing drip irrigation below the ground. SDI may be used below planting and tillage operations even in standard row-crop production systems. This publication is the first in a series that examines how North Carolina growers can use the technology.
Although subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) is in its infancy in North Carolina, it is becoming more popular as growers learn of its many benefits, which include increased irrigation efficiency. Proper management is imperative with an SDI system. Many components of an SDI system are underground; therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure and flow rates to ensure that the system is operating properly. This publication addresses water management, chemigation, system management and maintenance, and system evaluation.
Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) is a relatively new system that may give North Carolina producers similar or higher crop yields while using less water than other irrigation systems. Proper site selection helps ensure optimum system performance and crop yield while minimizing expenses. This publication will help you consider the characteristics of your field, soil, crop, cropping system and irrigation water resources as they apply to SDI.
As a part of the humid Southeast, North Carolina’s climate, topography, soils, cropping systems, and water sources require special consideration when considering and implementing a subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system. This publication is not a step-by-step design manual, but it will help you in the design process of an SDI system appropriate to North Carolina.