- Posted April 21, 2014 by
Important Considerations When Choosing Farm Irrigation Systems
Prior to deciding when to install an irrigation system, you must first consider lots of important factors. These factors will include initial cost, size and shape of your field, water source, fuel cost and availability, crop, and labor requirements. In some instances, there might be additional considerations like whether you own the land or perhaps you are leasing it. You might also own some equipment like a well or pumping unit and want to adapt the system to such existing equipment. These factors are very crucial in deciding which among the following farm irrigation systems to opt for.
Center Pivot Irrigation Systems – These are the widely used systems. The center pivot is a self-propelled system which will rotate around a central pivot point. The drive mechanism for such type might be water pressure, electric motors or hydraulic oil. Since these types of irrigation systems cover a circular area, they are best adapted to fields that are square or round. Some of the benefits these irrigation systems provide will include lower labour requirements, reduced deep drainage, and improved agronomic conditions.
Linear Move Irrigation Systems – These systems are somewhat similar in construction to center pivot systems except that, rather than rotating on a fixed end point, it moves laterally across the field. These irrigation systems are meant for rectangular-shaped fields. Know that these systems must have a guidance mechanism that will guide them in a straight line down the field. Its main advantage is on rectangular-shaped fields where a pivot system would leave huge areas unirrigated in the corners of the field. However, it will require more maintenance as opposed to center pivot due to its more sophisticated guidance system. Moreover, it will need more labor in order to operate.
Travelling Gun Systems – These systems will consist of a big gun or a large sprinkler on a wheeled cart which is mechanically moved across the field in order to spray water. The big guns generally discharge between 100-600 gpm and will irrigate a radius of 80-250 feet.
Permanent Set And Solid Set Irrigation Systems – These systems are usually used on small acreages or crops that have a high cash value. Permanent set systems will require very little labor and can easily be automated while solid set systems require low to high labor which depends on how much pipe is available and how often will the sets be moved.
Micro-Irrigation Systems – Generally, these types of irrigation systems will distribute water evenly to crop through low volume, low pressure output devices that control the rate of water output. Its main advantages will include water conservation, energy efficiency, reduced labor, fewer weed problems, and can easily be automated.