Dripper spacing with SDI

To maximize the capillary movement through the soil, drippers need to be closer together in subsurface than on surface because of the downward water movement in the soil profile.

Closer dripper spacing in SDI ensures a fully wetted line across the crop, which leads to uniformity.

Close dripper spacing = full “wetted” pattern

Demonstration of spacing that is too wide. There are dry patches between the drippers


The benefits of close dripper spacing are numerous

When irrigating, you want water to move laterally, not deep down through the soil profile where it is either lost (including any fertilizers added) or is harder for plants to uptake. By keeping emitters spaced at close intervals, water moves laterally quicker, ensuring a continued wet strip along the row.

In addition, more emitters per meter (per foot) provide greater protection against crop loss if an emitter becomes blocked. Closer dripper spacing also makes it easier to leach accumulated salts both below and to the edge of the bed.

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