Fresh produce farmers often rely on irrigation to ensure proper plant development, especially during drought periods in Alabama. However, the cost and complexity of an irrigation system can vary substantially. Depending on the size of an operation, decisions to invest in irrigation equipment can be difficult for small farmers. Extension educators from Alabama Extension in collaboration with the Local Food Safety Collaborative and the Deep South Food Alliance created a low literacy guide to assist small farmers with how to assemble, install, and maintain a drip irrigation system on a vegetable field. The guide contains photographs of the irrigation setup process and is written at a 5th-grade level so that it is easy to follow for farmers with diverse literacy skills. In addition to the publication, an accompanying video series was developed to be distributed to growers who are technology savvy and have a preference for visual learning. These educational materials can help growers to reduce costs, minimize their losses due to inadequate rainfall, and improve product quality.
This resource is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $25,000 received from the National Farmers Union with less than 100 percent funded by FDA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by FDA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit FDA.gov