Drought Solutions

Drought Solutions

The cost of irrigating crops, just like any other input cost, can be steep. To address the need growers have for economic irrigation options, a number of companies have products or services available that are designed to educate growers on different irrigation methods and help cut irrigation costs.

Online Education

Toro’s website, www.dripirrigation.org, designed to address the benefits of using drip irrigation. The educational website includes testimonials, illustrations, software, videos, and links focused on drip irrigation technologies.

The website stresses education, providing information on topics including irrigation basics, design and installation, operation, and maintenance. Its features include research and related articles, monthly questions, and tips and trends.

The Drip/Micro Payback Wizard allows growers to calculate their own personal payback period for investing in drip irrigation. Growers simply enter their crop, state, number of acres, current method of irrigation, and water cost per acre foot, and receive an estimate seconds later. The report can be customized to accurately reflect actual conditions.

Another tool available to help growers determine whether drip irrigation will benefit them is an 8-page brochure, “What is Drip,” that defines drip and its advantages, and provides an overview of system components in comparison to sprinkler irrigation.

Designed to encourage feedback and networking, the website features industry experts’ answers to questions submitted by website visitors, tips from experts, and the chance for visitors to share their knowledge as local experts.

Sprinkler Upgrades

The R33 Rotator from Nelson Irrigation Corporation was designed to replace the ¾ inch brass impact sprinklers. Created as an upgrade, the R33 uses Nelson’s Rotator Technology to provide longer throw distance, fight the wind, and deliver uniform coverage.

Speed control is a key element of the R33. Its design allows the sprinkler to move from slow mode back to fast mode throughout its rotation. Reducing the speed of rotation intermittently empowers the R33 with a wind-fighting pattern with maximum throw distance. In addition, the fast mode assists in filling out the water pattern for greater uniformity.

Nozzle sizes of 9/64-inch, 5/32-inch, 11/64-inch, and 3/16-inch are available for the R33. The new sprinkler is suitable for permanent-set, portable-pipe, and wheel-line applications for all types of crops including tree and vine crops.

Nelson also released the new P4 15 degree Orange Plate for the R10 Rotator. This plate gives growers the flexibility of using lower application rates (1/4 to 2/25 inches per hour) while achieving a throw distance of 24 to 27 feet. The P4 15 degree Orange Plate fits the same nozzles as the P4 9 degree White Plate for the R10. It can be used for applications including overhead irrigation and cooling of tree fruit and berry crops, and under-tree irrigation of tree nuts.

Nelson has two new Stream Splitter options — the Red, One-Sided Stream Splitter and the  The Stream Splitter snaps on to the R10 Rotator and protects adjacent tree trunks by creating a small wedge shape in the wetted pattern, which helps to reduce disease problems by keeping tree trunks dry. The choice of the one or two-sided option should be made according to tree proximity.

The Yellow PVC Stake Assembly is another new offering from Nelson. The tubing, which is made by CertainTeed, is designed to be strong enough to resist damage caused by animals, equipment, and workers. Yelomine PVC pipe features greater UV protection and impact resistance, which provides the stakes with a longer life compared with those made from standard white colored PVC pipe. These systems come fully assembled with either 4 millimeter tubing for the R5 Rotator or 5 millimeter tubing for both the R10 and R5 Rotators.

Go to www.nelsonirrigation.com for more information.

Irrigation Systems Simplified

The SingleNet Cable Control System from Netafim USA allows growers to run their drip/micro irrigation network further, expand the system when needed, and reduce costs. The new product, which is the latest addition to the Crop Management Technologies line, replaces multi-wire control systems with a two-wire single cable that controls up to 255 field valves and allows feedback to the controller from various sensors throughout the network. With the SingleNet System, growers can run their network further, expand the system when needed, and reduce costs.

The SingleNet System has features including simultaneous control of multiple valves, improved system protection and reliability, excellent surge protection and lighting resistance, two-way communication, and signal transmission that is quick and efficient.

Another addition to the Netafim USA Crop Management Technologies line is the NMC Pro System Manager, which integrates all control features on drip/micro irrigation systems into one unit. Growers can maximize their system while operating and monitoring it from one central location. The NMC Manager provides the control necessary to optimize irrigation efficiencies and fertilizer injection functions.

Features of the NMC Manager include fertilizer and EC/pH control, program memory back-up key, large graphic LCD display, real-time and historical records, and a choice of power sources. Flexible and expandable control outputs and inputs allow modification of the system to accommodate growth.

Visit www.netafimusa.com for more information.

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