Advantages of Drip Irrigation in Sugarcane

Advantages of Drip Irrigation:-

  • Irrigation water is transported from the source to the root zone of the crop without
    much conveyance and application losses which result in economy of irrigation water.
  • The quantity of irrigation water can be regulated to wet only the root zone of the
  •  Soil moisture in the root zone of the crop could be maintained near field capacity
    throughout the crop duration which leads to better crop growth and higher cane yield.
  • Costly inputs like fertilizers and pesticides could be applied through irrigation water
    and the dose of such inputs could be reduced increasing their efficiency.
  • Under situations of acute water shortage, the irrigation interval gets widened beyond
    the critical limit, and the crop often dries up. With drip irrigation it is possible to evenly
    apply the available irrigation water over the entire cropped area, thereby keeping it
    alive so that it can be rejuvenated later.
  • With drip irrigation as separate space is not allotted for irrigation channels etc., the
    effective cropped area is more producing additional cane yield.
  • It reduces the drudgery of the irrigation labour as well as labour cost.


Constraints in adoption of drip irrigation in Sugarcane
  • The high cost of the system.
  • Operational problems like non-availability of electricity, spare parts, good quality
    components, trained man power etc.
  • Clogging of drippers particularly when poor quality irrigation water is used.
  • Shallow rooting is a standard feature which results in severe lodging affecting yield
    and quality.
  • Filter maintenance.
  • Root intrusion.
  • Damage from farm implements and animals.
  • Difficulties in designing and installation of the drip irrigation system because of the
    small size of the holdings.
  • The planting geometry of the crop needs to be modified from the conventional uniform
    rows to paired rows for the adoption of drip irrigation.
  • Components like pressure gauges, filter screens and water meters become non-functional
    quite often due to salt deposition necessitating replacements or repairs which add to
    the maintenance cost.
  • The power consumption is more compared to conventional irrigation.
  • There are different grades of drip irrigation system components with wide variation in
    quality and longevity, which cannot be readily distinguished, and there are chances for
    the farmers to lose on account of poor quality.
  • Once a drip irrigation system is installed for Sugarcane, one plant and one or two ratoon crops can be successfully taken. After that, most often the system is not suitable for crops coming in the rotation like rice, groundnut etc.




“Drip Irrigation – Documents.” N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2017 <>.


Drip Irrigation – Documents. (n.d.). Retrieved from

  • Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore-641 007
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