Depending on the location of your property, droughts have a devastating effect on the well-being of your crops and overall yield. Many farmers struggle, sometimes yearly, with combating dry spells. Fortunately, there are plenty of intelligent ways to handle a lack of rainfall and ensure your plants remain healthy and hearty. Here are the methods for how to water your farm properly during a drought.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Modern weather technology allows us to predict when droughts are coming, sometimes months in advance. Always use these tools to ensure you’re ahead of the game when a dry spell comes around. With knowledge of impending drought, it’s best to store extra water with well-maintained ponds and trenches.
Planting cover crops in anticipation of dryness gives your other plants an extra form of protection against the elements. Cover crops increase your soil’s fertility and prevent erosion. Additionally, they help keep weeds and other invasive plants from choking your other crops.
Water During Cooler Time
Droughts include intense, prolonged moments of sunlight that evaporate water at a higher rate than normal weather conditions. To combat this, many people practice watering when the sun is low and less intense. You can implement nighttime watering into your watering schedule to ensure your plants are less stressed throughout the day.
Water in the early morning and at night provides enough nutrients for crops that last all day long. This kind of water usage prevents excessive evaporation and even saves water in the long run. Furthermore, understand the water needs of your crops, as some plants may require less irrigation.
Use the Right Irrigation System
Everything from the layout of your irrigation system, the quality of water within it, the water delivery process, and the equipment condition affects your system’s efficiency. Regardless of the weather condition, you must maintain all aspects of your watering systems to ensure your crops receive optimal nutrients.
Droughts, among other inclement weather conditions, greatly hurt your irrigation system’s efficiency, so being prepared with a smooth-operating machine is vital for crop health. Study the shortcomings of your system to determine where improvements are needed.
Implement Other Nutrients
Luckily, plants receive valuable nutrients from other factors outside of water. Adding compost into your soil allows plants’ roots to dig deeper into the ground and find water sources. Additionally, soil with organic material stays moist even during intense heat waves. Mulch also remains moist during dry spells and further protects your crops from droughts.
During intense droughts, consider switching to a crop that is more resistant to heat, if possible. These plants can absorb more nutrients in inclement weather, so research which alternative crops are best for your farm.
The best farm is the one that produces plentiful, healthy produce. Dry spells, unfortunately, prevent a farmer from reaching their maximum potential as a business. Knowing how to water your farm properly during a drought ensures that you and your crops are protected.