James Adkins Guest Lecture – Sean Michael

Today, Mr. James Adkins informed the class on irrigation, which is arguably one of the most important aspects of agriculture. In many ancient civilizations, like Asia and the Mayans, terracing, planting on hills with step-like plots, was a very way innovative, early version of the irrigation we have today. The class learned that thirty percent of American agriculture is watered using flood irrigation. This is mostly used in the West (not Delaware), for very heavy soil is required for this because 3 to 4 inches of water are applied at a time. The pressurized, or sprinkler, system became very widespread after the end of World War 2, because aluminum could now be used to build things other than planes. Surprisingly, Asia has 68% of the world’s irrigation, because the sheer numbers of small farms in China and India overwhelms the numbers. About 30 percent of Delaware’s land is irrigated, which translates to about 150 thousand acres. Lastly, we learned about the future of irrigation, with advanced systems and being able to start your watering from your smartphone.

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