An evaluation of sprinkler irrigation for Imperial Valley
Sprinkler irrigation reduced surface salt accumulation, increased water use efficiency, and cooled the soil surface more effectively than conventional furrow irrigation in recent tests. No detrimental effects were observed on lettuce, cabbage, carrots, onions or sugar beet seedlings from sprinkler application of Colorado River water. Emergence of seedlings was significantly higher with cabbage, sugar beets, carrots, and onions—and in some cases with lettuc—when sprinkled, as compared with furrow irrigation. When combined with precision planting, sprinkler irrigation resulted in earlier maturity of lettuce as well as highest yields obtained from a single harvest. Further studies will be needed to re-evaluate cultural practices involved in changing from furrow to sprinkler irrigation.