During the rainy season, the crops like corn, cotton are found to be growing faster. Studies shows that the thermoelectric fixation of gaseous Nitrogen during rain storm accelerates the plants growth in rainy season.

  1. Can this effect be seen in Sprinkler irrigation ?
  2. Is it possible to mimic this effect in other irrigation methods?
  • $\begingroup$ Hi. Any link to the mentioned studies ? $\endgroup$ – user18411 Dec 22 '19 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ i am not sure thermoelectric fixation is the right word to use for this prosess,biochemical fixation might be a better word for it.a lot of things are going on before-during-and after a rainfall and i am not sure this can be replicated by sprinkler irrigation. $\endgroup$ – trond hansen Dec 22 '19 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ You can apply nitrogen compounds in the irrigation water - called fertigation. This is a very efficient way of fertilization. But you do have to buy the fertilizer. $\endgroup$ – haresfur Dec 22 '19 at 23:20

I think what you mean by thermo-electric nitrogen fixation is the nitric oxides created by lightning discharges. This is absorbed by the raindrops as they form and as they fall to earth, and helps to fertilise the soil. You won't get this effect with sprinkler irrigation to any great extent, because the water droplets are exposed to the nitrogen oxides for far less time. In addition, sprinkler use is not usually accompanied by lighting flashes, whereas rain sometimes is.

If your crops are watered mainly by sprinklers and you would like them to have more nitrogen, you should practice rotation of crops. Some years you plant legumes, which fix nitrogen by means of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria which live in the nodules in their roots. In the tropics, a kind of acacia called mimosa, though not related to legumes, has the same nitrogen-fixing capability. This acacia is sometimes called 'the sensitive plant', as when touched its leaves rapidly fold themselves away.

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  • $\begingroup$ my understanding is that most or maybe all acacia species fix nitrogen. Some are invasive weeds in places. $\endgroup$ – haresfur Dec 22 '19 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ That probably is the case, but some acacias are quite large trees which you wouldn't want growing in your vegetable patch. Legumes (pea family) are by far the most popular plants for enriching the soil, and there are dozens of species to choose from. Alfalfa is good for animal feed and is also a legume. Acacia won't grow in temperate climates. $\endgroup$ – Michael Walsby Dec 22 '19 at 23:26

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