How To Maintain and Apply Water With Corrugation Irrigation Systems

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You should “set” your corrugations with the iargest flow they will safely carry and get the water to the lower end of the run in a short time. The water then has a chance to soak into the soil uniformly, and the lower part of the field will get as good an irrigation as the upper part. The amount of water that can be turned into a corrugation depends on the soil, the slope, and the crop. The limiting factor will be erosion in the corrugation. Do not use streams that cause soil movement. When the water reaches the lower end of the run, reduce the irrigation stream to keep the waste at the end of the corrugation to a small fraction of the amount turned in. Smaller streams and special care by the irrigator will be required on the steeper slopes to prevent erosion and water loss. Allow water to flow in the corrugation for only the time required to penetrate the root-zone of the plants. Use a shovel, or soil auger, to check the moisture condition of the soil before irrigating and during the time water is being applied.


You must keep corrugations open if they are to function properly. Plugged corrugations cause the water to break over, thus increasing the flow in adjoining corrugations. This may cause serious erosion in your fields. Harvesting operations tend to plug the corrugations on hay lands. You may need to remake them each year before the first irrigation.

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