We use furrow, sprinkler and drip irrigation here on the farm. Each method has its place depending on the crop and the growth stage.
These butternut squash plants were first irrigated with sprinklers when we were germinating the seeds. When the plants became to big to cultivate with the tractor we laid down the drip lines. Drip lines get in the way when you are cultivating and sprinklers have to be moved through the crop which can damage it. So for this crop a combination of irrigation methods is appropriate.
For Sweet Potatoes we use sprinklers throughout the life of the crop as seem to get smoother and more beautiful potatoes than if we moved over to drip as the crop grew.
Heirloom tomatoes get the same treatment as butternut squash but the control over the amount of water is critical for the tomatoes. Too much and the fruit will split. By using the drip we are able to add organic nutrients to the water such as calcium and humic acids that lessen the splitting that heirlooms love to do… Nigel