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Irrigation in a field in New Jersey

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Irrigation is the application of water to crops. The water may be diverted from a stream or pumped from a well. Irrigation is used during drought in humid areas, but is usual in arid climates. Irrigation is also used to suppress weeds in rice fields[1] and to protect plants against frost.[2] Agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed farming. Irrigation is often studied together with drainage, which is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water.


  1. Williams, J. F.; S. R. Roberts, J. E. Hill, S. C. Scardaci, and G. Tibbits. Managing Water for Weed Control in Rice. UC Davis, Department of Plant Sciences. Retrieved on 2007-03-14.
  2. Snyder, R. L. & Melo-Abreu, J. P. (2005), Frost protection: fundamentals, practice, and economics – Volume 1, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ISSN: 1684-8241., <> 

Adapted from the Wikipedia article "Irrigation" released under the GFDL

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