Most farmers would only use sub surface irrigation in crops such as Alfalfa or row crops. That’s because of issues with maintenance and longevity of the system.
KISSS can be used for broad acre crops (wheat, sorghum, alfalfa, cotton, etc.) because it produces a much wider wetting pattern than drip and can be installed deeper out of the way of cultivation.
The critical difference between KISSS and all other irrigation methods is that it is a ”permanent” solution with a life-span of 20 years and more.
It is the perfect way to “drought proof” a paddock normally used for dry-land farming. Farmers can install KISSS in part of the paddock and only use the irrigation if the season is bad. This partly-irrigated paddock will always deliver a crop, regardless of the weather.
Depending on the type of soil and its capillary action, KISSS can be installed from 3’ to 6’ apart and from 14” to 20” deep. This allows the farmer to continue with ordinary cultivation practices without the fear of damaging the irrigation system.
KISSS systems are deep in the ground and irrigate the roots directly (exactly what the plants need). However, the surface layer (0.5”-1”) is dry so weed germination is not encouraged and soil compaction is minimized.
Most importantly, the irrigation system can continue during harvest. For example, in an alfalfa crop, this will save many weeks per season that would normally be spent waiting for the field to dry sufficiently for harvest. Productivity will increase significantly for this reason alone. However, further increases in yields can be expected due to the proven benefit of irrigating directly to the root zone.
An added benefit is that chemicals and fertilizers (as well as biologicals) can be injected into the KISSS system and be directed right into the root zone. Normal practices of top-fertilization lose much of the benefit to weather, organic matter and downward drainage past the roots.