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The average efficiency of irrigation systems is high (Figure 23). However, a set of farms have been identified, that should improve irrigation uniformity, to achieve better efficiency. In most of the cases, the problems are design-related, often including large pressure differences in the irrigation subunit.

An important problem with drip irrigation is the working pressure and the pressure differences within the subunits. In some cases, very low pressures were recorded, with average pressures of only 18 kPa and minimum pressures in subunits of 5 kPa. Under these low-pressure conditions (lower than 100 kPa), most emitters will fail to work properly. Only some pressure-compensating emitters could discharge an adequate flow rate under these conditions. There are important differences in crop categories. In general, fruit trees equipped with drip irrigation systems, and horticultural crops show the highest Emission Uniformity (EU).

In the case of center pivots, major problems are related to design and in a few cases, management (e.g. inadequate working pressure or sprinklers packages). Normally, these machines are located in areas with a limited tradition in their management. In such areas, the work of the SIAR is essential for the training of farmers in management and in the necessity of proper design.

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Growing Soilless

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