Furrow Irrigation

Advantages to furrow irrigation include lower initial investment of equipment and lower pumping costs per acre-inch of water pumped. Disadvantages include greater labor costs and lower application efficiency compared to sprinkler and subsurface drip irrigation. The number of furrow irrigated acres in Nebraska has decreased from 2.4 million to approximately 1.5 million acres in the past 10 years.

Proper furrow irrigation practice can minimize irrigation costs and chemical leaching and result in higher crop yields. Related publication for detailed information: Nebguide G1338 - Managing Furrow Irrigation Systems.*

In central Nebraska blocked-end furrow irrigation is used to control field runoff. Proper management practices can minimize water application, irrigation costs and the leaching of agrichemicals below the root zone.
NebGuide G1721 – Management Recommendations for Blocked-end Furrow Irrigation*

Using a furrow firming wheel can improve furrow irrigation performance.
NebGuide G1720 Firming Irrigation Furrows to Improve Irrigation Performance*

Minimizing water loss inefficiencies in gravity irrigation systems will allow irrigators to save money and labor.
Fact sheets from Extension Circular EC196 10 Easy Ways to Boost Profits $20/Acre*
A compilation of 22 fact sheets, each of which describes how a change in farming practice can increase profits by a minimum of $2 per practice. Topics range from management strategies for inputs and pests to tillage and irrigation.
Fact Sheet 19: Repair leaky gates/gaskets and eliminate a set*
Choosing the appropriate cutoff ratio depends on soil factors and irrigation system configuration. The proper cutoff ratio helps the furrow irrigator to minimize deep percolation and runoff.
Fact Sheet 20: Using cutoff ration to fine-tune furrow irrigation*

Surge Irrigation can provide furrow irrigators with similar advantages to center pivot irrigation without major equipment investment.

Fundamentals of Surge Irrigation NebGuide G1870
Nebraska Surge Irrigation Trials NebGuide G1867
Surge Irrigation Field Layouts NebGuide G1869
Surge Irrigation Management NebGuide G1868

Polyacrylamide is polymer that binds soil particles together and can substantially reduce the amount of soil being lost during furrow irrigation.
Polyacrylamide – a Method to Reduce Soil Erosion , NebGuide G1866

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