Furrow irrigation-The BEST for horticultural crops-Types of surface irrigation (IV)

Row irrigation is a type of surface irrigation with the characteristic that the terrain is undulating, forming channels to circulate the water and with the crop in the upper part of the furrow.

The water is distributed to each furrow individually. It can be from a channel or with pipes that launch water to each furrow.

It is convenient that the land has a low slope. If you have a lot, the furrows are made following the contour of the terrain.

Type of crops that are adapted to furrow irrigation

Crops such as:


Irrigation by furrows
Irrigation by furrows for horticultural crops.

It is not a very economical system in terms of the water applied, because of every 100 liters that the plants are supplied, they use about 50 liters.

Another drawback is the uneven areas, because puddles can occur and are very harmful to plants.

Factors that favor the use of furrow irrigation

  • The irrigation flow.
  • Leveling the ground.
  • The type of soil, more sandy or more clayey.
  • The size of the plot.
  • The type of crop.
  • The availability of irrigation.

We must also take into account:

 The length of the grooves:

  • It depends on the type of terrain, its slope and the amount of water that the crop requires.
  • They can reach 450 meters in length if the terrain allows it.
  • In clay soils the furrows may be longer than in sandy or loamy soils. The reason is that the sandy ones absorb more water.
  • The flatter the terrain, the more length we can put.
  • If there is unevenness they can be longer.
  • Large amounts of water favor that they can be more extensive.
  • In the more even terrain the furrows can be longer than in those with greater unevenness..

The separation between grooves:

  • Sandy soils, because they are more absorbent, have to have small furrows, the wet bulb is more elongated, this influences that the furrow can store less moisture, and influence the crop depending on its root system.
Tipos de surcos según terreno
Types of furrows according to terrain and crop- Sandy and clayey.
  • In clay we can put wider grooves because they are less absorbent and the wet bulb develops horizontally.
  • The type of sowing and the breadth of the root system also have an influence on any type of terrain.
  • Another factor to take into account is the distance between each plant that varies depending on the follicular development.
  • We do not have to forget either the type of machinery to use for sowing and caring for the plantation.
  • The most convenient thing is to control the depth of the humidity and for this it is best to use the Plantae sensors that allow at different depths to know how far in the furrow there is moisture.

The amount of water to apply

  • The pressure with which the water is distributed is very important. If the water joins the furrow with great force, it can erode the ground. The most advisable thing is to use pipes that distribute the water to the furrows.
  • We must start with a high level of water, at first the siphon can reach the end of the curve, once it is half full, we must raise the siphon and reduce the amount of flow.
  • With this we avoid the dragging of soil towards the end of the furrow.
Llenado del surco
Initially filling the furrow, we can use the maximum flow, the furrow does not erode higher tube height.
Llenado del surco
Furrow filling as the water advances. Lower tube height. Raise the siphon outlet.

Types of grooves

  • We can make straight furrows in soils with little unevenness.
  • If the land has a drop of more than 2 meters for every 100 meters long, we can make furrows with curvature, depending on the characteristics of the farm.
Riego por surcos torcidos
Irrigation by crooked furrows for sloping land.
  • In the case of permanent crops such as vineyards and clay soils, the curvature is desirable because the penetration of the water into the subsoil is slower.
  • For fruit trees you can make grooves around the tree, as long as the unevenness allows it.
Riego por surcos para frutales
Irrigation by furrows for fruit trees, with diversions of the water around the tree.
  • Finally the furrows following the contour of the farm when the slope is high.
Riego con surcos en contorno
Irrigation with contour furrows for steep slopes.

Plantae offers you the possibility of controlling furrow irrigation with subsoil humidity, temperature and conductivity sensors.


Plantae Team AGRO


Are you looking for specialized information?

Contact now for free and without obligation with our team of Agronomic Engineering

Únete a nuestra Newsletter

Mantente al día en tu email de todo sobre el mundo de la agricultura de precisión, digitalización del campo y casos de éxito de profesionales del campo que aplican tecnología para conseguir ahorro y optimización de sus cultivos.




Ahorra agua e insumos y transforma tu cultivo con tecnología avanzada subvencionada a fondo perdido con hasta 12.000 € de Kit Digital




Ahorra agua e insumos y transforma tu cultivo con tecnología avanzada subvencionada a fondo perdido con hasta con 12.000 € de Kit Digital