It is also called overhead system of irrigation as water is made to spray through nozzle fitted in the stand of water conveying pipe over the foliage of the crop plants as artificial rain. Pressure is generated by pumps and IC engine and water is sprayed through orifice or nozzle. This method is used for all crops in any soil condition except in the soils having very low infiltration capacity. This method is categorized under:
a) Rotating head system
b) Perforated system.
i) Better method for ground having uneven topography or land leveling ins not essential for sprinkler irrigation.
ii) Better for light textured soils.
iii) Soluble fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides can also be sprayed easily through this system.
iv) It is detachable and portable and can be carried at any location and may be shifted to other locations after the irrigation is over.
v) Sprinkler irrigation can be used for almost all crops (except rice and jute)
vi) Small streams of irrigation can be used efficiently.
vii) Sprinkler method of irrigation can be used to protect crops against frost and high temperatures that reduce the quantity and quality of the produce.
viii) Labour costs are usually less than for surface methods on soils having high infiltration rate and on steep and rolling land.
ix) No wastage of land for bunds and ridges.
x) The irrigation method does not interfere with the movement of farm machinery.
i) Sprinkler irrigation is 2-2.5 times costlier than surface irrigation for the same depth of water application.
ii) If the wind velocity is greater than 6 km per hour drift losses increases or evaporation losses is increases and wind distort sprinkler pattern and causes uneven distribution of water also.
iii) Clay soils that have a slow intake rate coupled with hot, dry windy areas are not suitable for sprinkler irrigation.
iv) Sprinkling water may cause fungal disease, wash pollen and reduce fruit set.
v) If the water containing large quantity of dissolved salts, this method may not be useful.
vi) Power requirement is high.