Sprinkler Irrigation – History and Basics webinar

February 28, 2017 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
USDA NRCS Science and Technology

Participate to become familiar with a brief history of irrigation, focusing on a historical presentation of sprinkler irrigation systems dating back to the late 1800s to present-day era center pivot systems.

Irrigation has been central to agriculture for over 5,000 years. In the U.S., irrigated agriculture covers only about 15% of cropland, but provides more than 45% of agricultural products. There are four primary types of irrigation systems: surface, subsurface, sprinkler, and drip or trickle. A brief history of irrigation is presented in this webinar, with a focus on historical developments in sprinkler irrigation systems that date back to the late 1800s with the filing of patents for portable lawn sprinklers to present-day dominance of center pivot systems. Major advances in sprinkler irrigation systems came with the introduction of wheel lines and then center pivots in the late 1940s and 1950s mostly on the back of the availability of aluminum and the large-scale irrigation expansion. Throughout the years, many technological advancements in these systems have been introduced to enhance performance, ease management, and reduce energy use, or to meet other specific needs. Recent advances include enhanced system operation and management made possible via readily available GPS and affordable remote communications and real-time data availability. This webinar is expected to be of educational value and interest to most technical and field staff dealing with irrigation systems and irrigated land.

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