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.
Nebguide G1338: Managing Furrow Irrigation Systems
Proper furrow irrigation practice can minimize irrigation costs and chemical leaching and result in higher crop yields.
NebGuide G1721: Management Recommendations for Blocked-end Furrow Irrigation
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 G1720: Firming Irrigation Furrows to Improve Irrigation Performance
Using a furrow firming wheel can improve furrow irrigation performance.
Surge Irrigation can provide furrow irrigators with similar advantages to center pivot irrigation without major equipment investment.
NebGuide G1866: Polyacrylamide – a Method to Reduce Soil Erosion
Polyacrylamide is polymer that binds soil particles together and can substantially reduce the amount of soil being lost during furrow irrigation.