SDI Stands for Subsurface Drip Irrigation. This is a method of irrigating a crop via underground drip tape. Small pressure regulated emitters are evenly spaced on the drip tape allowing growers to evenly irrigate their entire field. What is better yet, the water is going directly to the root zone where the plants need it most without excess runoff or evaporation.
Subsurface Drip Irrigation is an efficient method of irrigating many crops. While drip in corn is especially beneficial for the fertilizer savings when using fertigation techniques, it also saves resources for crops such as soybeans, alfalfa, cotton, blueberries, grapes, and tomatoes. Many fruit and vegetable farms can also benefit from the use of SDI.
Drip irrigation not only uses less water due to evaporation and runoff, but it also allows growers to irrigate 100% of their field. Compared to traditional pivot or flood irrigation methods, the water savings are significant. Drip irrigation is a good solution as water becomes more and more a protected resource. Some growers may be eligible for EQIP from the NRCS when converting to SDI. Check with your state for program requirements.
Fertigation is a method of fertilizing a crop using irrigation. Fertigation is especially effective with SDI because of reduced runoff and drift because all of the nutrients are evenly placed directly to the root zone.