The corn drip irrigation system has mature maintenance management and irrigation schemes, which can effectively increase corn yield and reduce daily maintenance labor costs.
Typical drip irrigation system consists of the following components:
1. Pump unit
The pump unit takes water from the source and provides the appropriate pressure for delivery into the pipe system.
2. Control head
The control head consists of valves and filters. Some control head units also contain a fertilizer or nutrient tank for the slow adding of measured fertilizer doses into the water during irrigation.
3. Main, submain lines, and laterals
The main lines are the pipes which supply water from its source to valves. They are made of galvanized steel, copper, polyethylene (PEX), or PVC. Since PVC can be easily damaged by solar radiation, these main lines should be buried in the soil.
Submains and laterals supply water from the valve to the drip tube. They are usually made of PVC and polyethylene and therefore should be buried below the ground to prevent sun damage. Lateral pipes are usually installed on large drip systems, where multiple drip tubes are needed. Additionally, in small systems, the drip tube is connected directly to the valve.
Drip tubing is the special polyethylene or rigid PVC tube which transfers water to plants. It’s placed on the ground surface between the plants. Along its length, it has placed emitters which water the plants. Drip tubing systems are designed to last for 10 to 20 years or more. For this reason and the associated high initial cost, they are mostly used for permanent crop installations (fruit trees and vines).
4.Emitters or drippers
Emitters can be installed on a drip tube by creating a hole in the drip tubing using a punch. Care should be taken to use a special punch designed for a certain emitter so as to avoid creation of big holes and water leaching. Some emitters are self-piercing, meaning they do not require the use of a punch. There are also drip tubes with already installed, uniformly spaced emitters inside the tube.
Taking the common areas in Xinjiang as an example, the target yield of 1000-1100kg of corn kernel per 667m2, under drip irrigation conditions, dripping 8~10 times in the whole growth period, the total drip amount is 300~350m3 per 667m2.
In the low-fertility area, the recommended application rate of nitrogen fertilizer (N) is 219~21kg per 667m, the phosphate fertilizer (P2O5) is 8~9kg per 667m2, and the potassium fertilizer (K2O) is 4~5kg per 667m2.
In the medium fertility area, the recommended application rate of nitrogen fertilizer (N) is 17~19kg per 667m2, the phosphate fertilizer (P2O5) is 7~8kg per 667m2, and the potassium fertilizer (K2O) is 3~4kg per 667m2.
In high-fertility areas,
the recommended application rate of nitrogen fertilizer (N) is 15~17kg per 667m2,
the phosphate fertilizer (P2O) is 6~7kg per 667m2, and the potash (K2O) is the ratio of nitrogen,
phosphorus and potassium fertilizer (quantity) per 667m22~3kg. It is 1: (0.38~0.48) (0.15~0.25).
How to set up corn drip irrigation tape
Corn can achieve water-saving and fertilizer-saving through irrigation through drip irrigation system, and it can increase production and benefit. Drip irrigation belt is a common drip irrigation equipment. How do corn use drip irrigation belt for irrigation?
It is recommended to use 2 rows and 1 tube wide and narrow row planting, wide row 80~90cm, narrow row 20~40cm, and 1 drip irrigation belt in narrow row.
The plant spacing is determined by density. It is recommended to plant a seed density of 7,000~8500 plants per 667m2. Single-wing labyrinth or in-line patch drip tape with a drop spacing (300mm).
According to the soil texture, choose the dripper with dripper flow: the sandy loam should choose the dripper flow rate of 2.8~3.2L/h; the loam should choose the dripper flow of 2.4~2.8L/h; the clay should choose the dripper flow of 1.8~2.4 L/h is suitable; the branch pipe is selected from PE (polyethylene) black pipe water belt (75# or 90#).
It is preferable to use an ordinary polyethylene film or a bio-photo-degradable film having a width of 70 to 90 cm and a thickness of >0.01 mm.
Additional Drip System Components
Tee Fitting – allows splitting drip line into separate lines flowing to different locations.
End line – end of the main drip line in an irrigation system. The end cap is simply placed on the end of the line (tubing), then that line is bent and fed through the end cap, “pinching” off the main line.
Coupler Fitting – allows the connection of two pieces of tubing in order to continue a drip line to the desired location.
Air vent – prevents air from being sucked into the emitters when the system is turned off. It should be installed at the highest point on the drip tube to prevent it from being covered with dirt. The air vent is usually installed on large drip systems which are on a slope, as the elevation change creates a more powerful suction that will suck in more dirt.
Fertilizing system – used to add fertilizers and pesticides when watering the plants. This farm practice is called fertigation.