Why irrigation controllers came to be
Ages ago man started cultivating crops for food requirements. It was the single most important profession back then. It still is. Cultivation done in all the fertile lands of the world for food crops as well as cash crops, provide the whole population with the basic needs of food and clothing.
Cultivation of crops has become a specialized branch of science with newer and greener techniques invented every day to help produce better crops to sustain the booming population. The most important support that a cultivable land needs to flourish in its growth of crops is irrigation. Crops need a constant water supply even at times of drought which necessitates the use of irrigation.
Irrigation is defined as the artificial application to a land according to crop requirements. It also helps protect the crops from various environmental factors and in soil consolidation.
Irrigation in earlier times was done by channeling water from rivers. That is why river belts were the prime places for cultivation. But with growing need water had to be irrigated to remote places and this led to the invention of new techniques.
Today this act is automated through the use of irrigation controllers and that is the focus in this article.
What exactly are irrigation controllers?
Irrigation controllers are devices used to control automatic watering systems like drip irrigation systems and lawn sprinklers.
Modern available irrigation controllers are totally automated and come with settings for frequency of watering, duration of watering and starting times. Some advanced irrigation controllers also come with sensors which detect rain and frost, soil moisture etc. and regulate the watering frequencies accordingly.
There are two different types of irrigation controllers according to the mechanisms employed: electrical and hydraulic.
These devices can be called ‘smart’, as in they can act on their own. Most current smart controllers have same basic features and settings. The features that really count are settings for soil type, slope, sun/shade, plant or turf type etc.
The technology really takes off at the point of usage of real time data. These smart devices use either satellite weather data or on-site monitors to be updated about the real time weather conditions at all times.
Such data help the controller to disperse the exact amount of water required.
Where and why irrigation controllers are used
Irrigation controllers are used both in the domestic front and in demanding professional agricultural uses. Domestic ones like lawn sprinklers take care of watering needs very efficiently and work within set zones and timings.
The larger irrigation controllers used in cultivated lands. These devices can control the flow rate according to real time requirements.
These smart irrigation controllers are fast becoming a necessity for farmers. There are two reasons for this.
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