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Irrigation Management (Horticulture)
Irrigation Management (Horticulture) 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Irrigation Management (Horticulture)
Irrigation Management(Horticulture) course online. Take your knowledge of irrigation systems further.! This course builds on skills achieved in the Irrigation modules to develop students’ skills to manage the design and operation of large scale irrigation systems for horticultural applications.
Want to become an irrigation specialist? This course does assume you have some knowledge of irrigation equipment and installation. It is ideal for those already working as a foremen, supervisors, managers and installers of irrigation systems in the irrigation industry.
Course topics covered include: how to monitor water usage, measuring volumes of water administered, problems with different impurities in water, electronic equipment, and different types of system designs and components.
If you have already completed our Irrigation (Gardens) course this module is ideal a progression course. It can be studied as an individual standalone course; however, we strongly recommend that you undertake Irrigation Gardens first.
The following topic areas are covered:
• Ways to optimise water efficiency
• Scheduling irrigation for nurseries, gardens, turf
and horticultural crops.
• Drainage system design
• Operating irrigation controllers
• Managing system maintenance
• Managing fertigation
• Evaluating irrigation designs
• Design of different systems
This course builds on skills achieved in Irrigation modules (BHT210 and BHT204) to expand your irrigationknowledge in order to manage the design and operation of large scale irrigation systems for horticultural applications.
Lesson Structure: Irrigation Management (Horticulture) BHT305
There are 8 lessons:
1 Waste water and recycling:
- Humans and Water
- Water and Plant Growth
- Minimising Plant Requirements
- Waste Water
- Types of Water Wastage: Evaporation, Seepage, Runoff, Overspray, Scheduling
- Recycling Waste Water
- Waste Water Treatment (Reed-Beds)
- Suitable Plants
2 Measuring water usage
- The Hydrological Cycle: Direct Fall onto the Land Surface, Intercepted Rainfall, Water Falling Directly into Water-Bodies
- Rainfall: Distribution, Variability, Frequency, Intensity, Evaporation, Effective Rainfall, Calculating Effective Rainfall
- Special Applications: Irrigation of Vines, Efficient Orchard Irrigation, Scheduling, Regulated Deficit Irrigation
- Measuring Soil Moisture
- Water Monitoring Equipment: Gypsum Blocks, Neutron Probe Meters, Tensiometers, Ceramic Block Sensors, Heat Sensor System, Dielectric Scanning Device, Applications
- Measuring Water Usage: Soil Characteristics, Unique Crop Requirements, Local Evapotranspiration Levels
- Drainage: Rainfall
- Improving Permeability During Construction: Cultivation, Adding Soil Ameliorants, Chemical Treatments
- Improving Surface Drainage After Construction: Sand Slitting, Aerating, Sub Soiling
- Layout of Drains: Outlet, Gradients, Distance Between Drainage Pipes, Depth Of Drains
- Types of Drains
- Laying the Drain
- Contingencies to Deal With Flood
4 Irrigation controllers
- Irrigation Controllers
- Controllers: Automatic Controllers, Time Clocks, Computerised Tap Controllers, Manual Controllers, Battery Powered Solenoid Valves
- Water Volumes and Duration
- Technical Data Sheet Mechanical Tap Timer
- Technical Data Sheet Electronic Tap Timer
- Pumps and Pressure Systems
- Types of Pumps: Table: Comparison Of Pump Types, Shallow Well Pumps, Deep Well Pumps
- Pumping Mechanisms: Piston Pumps, Centrifugal Pumps, Turbine Pumps
- When a Centrifugal Pump Fails to Operate
5 System maintenance
- Maintenance of Watering Systems: System Maintenance
- Maintenance Procedures and Scheduling: Periodic Inspections, Routine Upkeep, Contingency Work, Scheduling Work
- Maintaining Trickle Irrigation Systems: Cleaning Filters, Flushing the System, Use of Chlorine, Chlorination in Doses, Continuous Chlorination
- Maintaining Water Quality
- How to Improve the Quality of Water From Any Source
- Problems of Water Quality and Their Remedies – Physical Impurities: Sediment, Turbidity, Colour
- Problems of Water Quality and Their Remedies – Chemical Impurities: Hardness, Alkalinity, Corrosion, Iron, Salinity, Tastes and Odours
- Problems of Water Quality and Their Remedies – Biological Impurities: Algae, Micro organisms
- Problems of Water Quality and Their Remedies – Bacteriological Impurities
- Advantages of Fertigation
- Disadvantages of Fertigation
- Fertigation Types: Proportional Application, Quantitative Application, Continuous Application, Three Stage Application
- Fertiliser Injectors: Pump Injectors, Pressure Differential Injectors, Suction Injectors, Fertiliser Applications
- Plant Nursery Fertiliser Injection Techniques
7 Design evaluation
- Design Considerations: Water availability, Source and quality of water, Regulations, Site details, Finances and labour requirements
- Importance of Design
- Surface/Flood Irrigation: Border Check System, Hillside Flooding, Furrow Irrigation
- Sprinkler Irrigation: Wind Velocity and Wetting Pattern, Droplet Size, Rotational Speed, Evaporation
- Trickle Irrigation: Evaporation, Saves Labour, Does Not Get Water Where It’s Not Wanted, Reduces Weeds, Reduces Disease
- Microjet Irrigation
- Do it Yourself Micro Irrigation Systems
- Time Length of Watering
- Automatic Systems
- Water Management in Turf
8 System design
- Pre-Planning Information: What is the soil like? dimensions and other measurements, Relevant by laws, Environment of the locality, Available resources, Client/owner preferencies and priorities, photos of site
- Type of System
- Underground Pipes
Learning Goals: Irrigation Management (Horticulture) BHT305
- Devise ways to optimise water efficiency (ie. minimise wastage), during irrigation of plants
- Schedule irrigation for a large scale situation such as a large nursery, crop, turf, garden or pasture
- Analyse the design of different drainage systems
- Understand the operation of irrigation controllers and pumps for appropriate tasks
- Manage the maintenance of irrigation systems, both small and large scale
- Manage the fertigation of plants through an irrigation system
- Evaluate the design of large scale irrigation systems
- Design an irrigation system, including its drainage
Practical (Set Tasks)
- Contact your regional or local water authority. Ask them for information on their water restriction policy. When are water restrictions enforced and how do they affect water users? Focus mainly on the problems experienced by agricultural users. Consider ways that users can minimise their dependence on water access? Write a brief report on your findings and submit with your assignment.
- Visit a property that uses irrigation. Discuss with the manager the methods that are used to decide when to water and how much water to use. Is irrigation an important element in the success or otherwise of the property?
- Choose a drainage system to which you can get access. Remember a drainage system is designed to cope with most situations. They are many examples in your local everyday environment. Some examples might include the guttering on your house or even on your car. Discuss how the system operates and include sketches to show design features.
- Contact a number of companies that offer computerised and technology solutions to irrigation. Obtain prices and information if possible on appropriate working installations of their product. If possible try a follow up visit at least one (1) operation and discuss the product with a user as well as a retailer. If distance or transport is a problem then you could try writing for this information, which would be suitable for the purpose of this set task.
- Visit a property that uses large irrigation systems. Enquire about the maintenance of their systems. Consider how is water quality monitored and maintained?
- Investigate at least two irrigation supply companies.
- Observe how they service customers. Consider: are there any other services they provide?
MANAGE THE FERTIGATION OF PLANTS THROUGH AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM
Fertigation involves the controlled injection of liquid fertiliser to irrigation water. Fertigation is distinguished from chemigation which involves the application of other chemicals such as insecticides and fungicides to irrigation systems and which is therefore, more tightly regulated due to the implications for human health in agricultural irrigation.
Fertigation is only suited to irrigation systems that have been well designed to meet the needs of the plants they are intended to water. A good design means even distribution of water and fertiliser.
There are four main requirements of a fertigation. It should be able to regulate:
• The amount of fertiliser required.
• The proportion of fertiliser in the solution.
• The start and finish time for fertiliser application.
• The duration of the fertiliser application.
Advantages of Fertigation
There are a number of advantages of fertigation if appropriate equipment and fertilisers are chosen and the system is well maintained.
- If used in conjunction with an efficient irrigation system, both water and nutrients supplied through fertigation can be delivered at rates to achieve the optimum yield from a given crop.
- Fertiliser applications can easily be adjusted throughout the growing season and in accordance with specific crop requirements.
- The delivery of solid fertilisers is often labour intensive, whereas fertigation is not.
- Other fertilisers may be washed away in run-off or leached into the subsoil beyond the root systems of plants if rain follows soon after application and therefore may have to be re-applied.
- Fertigation offers a more measured approach to fertilisation by delivering a continuous
application of uniform, small amounts of fertiliser directly around plant roots.
With fertigation, compaction around plants caused by foot traffic is reduced thereby improving the rate of uptake of nutrients by plants.
Disadvantages of Fertigation
Fertigation is applicable to some systems and not others.
- it works well with trickle irrigation but can cause problems if used with sprinklers that do not evenly distribute the fertiliser.
- Corrosion to fittings and nozzles is another side effect to be aware of when deciding whether or not to use fertigation. As such, those parts of an irrigation system which come into contact with nutrients should be made of non-corrosive materials such as stainless steel and plastics.
- Irrigation maintenance costs could increase. If so, then fertigation may not be a viable option.
- Plants in pots which are usually given slow release fertilisers tend to develop high salinity levels during fertigation.
- The inclusion of fertiliser in mists such as in a shade house or greenhouse can produce algal problems. The nutrients in the irrigation system might also cause the presence of bacteria and slime moulds.
In order to overcome these issues, the irrigation system should be regularly cleaned by running acid or chlorine through it – but not when fertiliser is being applied. Therefore, good hygiene practices must be observed.
The main types of fertigation system are as follows:
With this system, the fertiliser application rate is proportional to the rate of discharge of water. For example, one litre of solution in 200 litres of water. The proportion can be easily increased when plants are using more water and decreased when they are not.
This method allows for a given concentration of nutrients to be injected for a particular group of plants. A different concentration may be applied to another group of plants. it is well suited to automatic systems.
With this method, a constant amount of nutrients is injected throughout the irrigation no matter what the water discharge rate is.
Three Stage Application
This method involves irrigation until the soil is wetted, followed by a period of nutrient injection, and then a further period of irrigation. The latter irrigation is intended to flush out the nutrients from the system.
Injectors are used in fertigation to provide nutrients to the irrigation water. The correct choice of injector is important. Three main types of injector are as follows:…
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here is a list of the most often asked FAQ’s.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at ADL, our students are our priority – we treat everyone as a unique individual.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, as each module has been written by highly qualified industry professionals. The content of the material is presented in such a way that text books are not required. However, if you require additional reading your tutor will be able to supply a list.
Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while? (eg. become sick, go on holidays, have a baby, move house, etc)
A. It’s OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.
Q. Is there an age limit?
A. There is no maximum age limit. We do however, have a minimum age limit of 18 years. Below that age parental consent would be required.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are revised and updated on a rotation system.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. Yes. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. When can I enrol/start?
A. You may enrol and start at any time of the year – it’s all self- paced.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. How long do I have to complete the course?
A. You complete the course at any time that is convenient for you.
Q. Completing a 100 hour module – how long will it take?
A. For some students a 100 hour module will take approximately to 3- 6 months to complete. Others take less time and some even longer.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a Project, instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. You may elect to undertake a Project (set by your tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Projects are completed from your home and can usually take a couple of weeks to complete.
Q. If my assignment is not up to standard is there an opportunity to resubmit my work?
A. Yes –
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons, there would be 10 assignments.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would be awarded a Certificate endorsed by TQUK (Training Qualifications, UK), providing you complete all assignments and the exam. If you just want to complete only the assignments and not sit for the exam or finish a Project, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications available please click here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to Design Your Own Diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. You choose modules that you think will help you in achieving your goal.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of all courses and providing all assignments and exam requirements have been met, you will receive your Award and a Transcript.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We appoint Tutors and require that they must be currently active in their industry, with at least 5 years’ experience in their chosen profession.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes – you have unlimited access to your tutor via email through our Online Classroom. You can always leave a message with ADL requesting your tutor to contact you. You decide on how much or how little contact you wish to have.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
Excerpt From The Course
WATER VOLUMES AND DURATION
The exact procedure to determine the optimum flow rate and number of control stations for any irrigation system is impractical to define.
A general procedure to be followed is:
1) Divide the area to be irrigated into sections having similar water requirements according to plant and soil types and degree of enclosure and shading.
2) Select and design the sprinkler or other irrigation water distribution systems for all sections of the area to be irrigated, selecting tentative water application rates in ranges suitable for each section.
3) Further divide the sections decided upon in step 1 into smaller areas where necessary each requiring approximately the same water flow rate.
4) Calculate the peak daily irrigation water requirements for all sections of the irrigation area from peak monthly evaporation figures or other data where applicable.
5) Calculate the time required to apply the peak daily irrigation water requirements of each section calculated in step 4 using the tentative water application rates selected in step 2.
6) Calculate the total time required to apply the peak daily irrigation water requirements to all the sections selected in step 3.
7) Revise and refine the calculations and tentative decisions made in steps 2, 3, 5, 6 dependent on how the total daily irrigation time calculated in step 6 compares to the time available to carry out the irrigation each day.
Note: when designating your irrigation zones, bear in mind that mature plants require less water than young or establishing plants.
Also, consider that in terms of water usage efficiency, unless there are rain or other sensors built in to the system, a good system is only as good as the programmes which are set in the controller. If you do not set up your watering zones and times accurately, you may end up using more water than watering by hand.
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: [email protected]
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,