Type: Chapter

Advances in irrigation practices and technology in ornamental cultivation

Author John D. Lea-Cox

University of Maryland

Publication date:

27 April 2020

ID: 9781786767219

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Two issues will likely dominate irrigation and water management for ornamental cultivation in the coming years, namely the decreasing availability of fresh water for agricultural use and environmental concerns that will increasingly limit the runoff of water with any contaminants from commercial operations. Both issues are the subject of increasing scrutiny and regulation in the U.S. and Europe, and many operations are addressing these issues through an array of better management practices. Both objectives could be better achieved by increasing the precision of irrigation applications and understanding how we can better time the frequency and duration of irrigation events, not only to optimize plant growth, but also to limit leaching and runoff. This chapter will address these systemic issues, to increase the efficiency of irrigation applications, to reduce runoff volume and limit contaminant load, and make the most effective use of any capture or remediation capacity.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Ornamental production systems and water use
3 Key challenges for improving irrigation efficiency: systems design and maintenance
4 Sensor-based technologies for irrigation scheduling
5 Irrigation data management and decision support systems
6 Developing a universal irrigation protocol: a case study
7 Future trends
8 Where to look for further information
9 References