When farmers have to take the decision of buying a pivot system for irrigation and replace the actual irrigation systems they are currently using, they are considering an investment that will last, at least, for the next 20 years, so they should pay special attention to the irrigation equipment and ask themselves:
When acquiring an irrigation system of this kind, growers must be specially careful regarding to the equipment brand and think about essential aspects such as the quality of the manufacturer, the support that this one brings, the product guarantee, the commitment of the manufacturer with their businesses, how innovative they are considering the latest technologies in the market, etc.
One of the most important aspects to take into consideration during the set up of these machines is to make sure that there is a consistant water supply. This seems like a very basic point, but it’s imperative to keep this in mind.
The amount of water needed is directly related to the climate in the area and the kind of crop that is going to be irrigated. It must be specified the evapotranspiration values in the area, because doing so will lead to a more acurate design of the water flow to provided the amount of water needed. However, there will always be plenty of cases in which the grower has a fixed water supply. In any case, we need to study the amount of water that will be possible to supply within an specific period of time.
If the center pivot is towed from one location to another, we will also have to consider the time that this operation takes for the trailer and the time lost during the dragging, which reduce the effective capacity of the machine and can lead to problems in order to keep up with the water needs of the crops if there’s not a right planning for this.
In areas where there’s an abundant water input, sometimes the mistake is to design the pivot system for a bigger flow than the actually needed. This can cost several difficulties such as runoff waters, a higher demand and use of energy, and an irrigation excess if the grower is not paying attention to the irrigation planning tecniques.
One of the most important functions for a pivot machine is to supply water to the crop in the most efficient way possible. Being so, the selection and design of the sprinkler equipment is very important, and depends on many factors: the area characteristics, type of soil, pressure and water flow available, type of crop, etc. There’s a wide variety of sprinkling devices that can be install on to a pivot machine for the water supply. The industry has pushed for more efficient emitters that are installed closer to the soil surface, turning into the minimum energy necessary to keep working with and reducing evaporation.
These are some of the aspects to take into consideration while designing the sprinkler system: