In agriculture, we can find different types of crops depending on the availability of water.

The most widespread system is rainfed, which depends basically on atmospheric precipitation.


Apart from the rainfed crop, there are irrigated crops that take advantage of the water from the atmospheric precipitations and the land is also irrigated.


Among irrigated crops, we can highlight those that are known as “greenhouse crops” these have their own irrigation system, in addition to the water, they are very sensitive to temperatures, therefore they have to be grown indoors. a plastic structure to maintain those optimum temperatures for the crop.


The irrigated farms are very different from those of rainfed crops.

This type of crops due to the need for irrigation facilities requires more investment for the construction of the different channels.


So, in addition to the economic investment, it is also linked to an advance with respect to the most advanced technical development compared to the case of rainfed farms where it is only irrigated by means of atmospheric precipitation.




Type of agriculture that occurs in semi-dry places and where the roots should not be flooded. This type of crops is the average of the territories where annual rainfall is less than 500 mm.


What are the main rainfed crops?


Some of the most common rainfed crops in the Mediterranean are:


  • Oats: grain, wheat, oats, rye, millet.
  • Vegetables: chickpeas, peas, beans, peanuts.
  • Trees of organic products: almond, apricot, olive.
  • Different trees: carob.
  • Plant: onions, melons, tomatoes, etc.




  • Geographical territory: Central America; North and East of South America; Sub-Saharan Africa; some regions of Asia and Spain
  • Environment: tropical environment.
  • Systems: three-year rotation
  • Development frameworks: monoculture: walnut / millet. Wide and dry land.


Problems: if the storm season is deferred, it can cause starvation, bad execution.


Advantages of rainfed agriculture 

Advantage: ·

  •  Increases the fertility of the land, rainfed agriculture has control of diseases and infections;
  • Reduces the bad results of a good harvest caused by the disintegration and provides the surface of the earth with the vital measure of water for the expansion of food.
  • Risks:In rainfed agriculture it is important to talk about the control of the dangers identified with the dry season.

Agricultura de secano


Types of crops that need large amounts of water for exploitation. They require a great economic investment and the existence of a set of transport infrastructures. An example of this type would be irrigation channels, ditches, and pools.

What are the most common methods?

• Drip or localized irrigation. Drip irrigation releases drops or a thin stream, through the holes of a plastic pipe that is placed above or below the surface of the earth.

By sprinkling. This irrigation sprays the water in droplets on the desired surface, achieving an effect similar to that of rain.

By infiltration or channels.

• By furrows.

• By flood or submersion.

• By drainage.

What are the main irrigated crops?

These crops can not depend on the season and need a constant supply of water, for example citrus and flowers, as well as rice, which needs abundant water for its development.In other cases, such as the vine or the olive grove, there may be a dry or irrigated crop, although in the second case it will produce a lot more.But the main crops are olive, barley, wheat, sugar beet, corn, potatoes, rye, oats, rice, tomatoes and onions.

Advantage: It is possible to save approximately 60% water.It is a type of agriculture very suitable for linear sowing and implies lower energy consumption.It is able to withstand outdoor conditions, chemicals and ultraviolet light.
In addition, the equipment can last for many years, which results in lower labor costs.It is very important to point out that the land will not be a problem for irrigated agriculture, because due to its variety of methods it can be applied almost to any type of relief, even to soils with thinner layers.The person in charge will have control of the water distribution in their hands, being able to choose more saline waters, and may benefit from other properties of this type of system, for example:

• Ease to control weeds.

• Increase of the harvest.

• Continuous irrigation application avoiding the suffocation of the roots.

• Fertility of the land and possibility of implementation of agrochemical routines.

Risks: The investment is usually high, although it will depend on the characteristics of the land and the type of crop for which it will be used.
Another risk is the possibility of obstruction of the drippers, to have tiny holes, these can be sensitive to filtering and the quality of the liquid.In case you want to use water with high saline properties, it will be necessary to apply washing at the end of each cycle of irrigated agriculture.

Agricultura de regadío

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