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Plants need water to grow, and although this is obvious to any farmer or gardener, water availability is the limiting factor to plant growth more often than most realize. More and more growers have become aware of this and are installing irrigation systems. Once the decision to spend the time and money getting water to your crops is made, then you have to decide between two basic system designs. Are you going to spray water over the tops of the plants like a rain shower or drip water into the soil?

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About a decade ago, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service showed that subsurface drip irrigation of tomatoes, cotton and corn can provide higher yields while using less water than other systems.

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