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Chemigation

Chemigation Through Pivots

Pivots provide precise, uniform water application to your crops. When you chemigate through your pivots, you get those same advantages, while improving the quality and quantity of your crops. Chemigation is the application of agricultural fertilizers, soil amendments and pesticides through irrigation water.1 (It is also called fertigation when fertilizer is injected into the irrigation water.) If your irrigation system is designed and managed properly, chemigation can save you time, reduce labor requirements, and conserve energy and materials.2 Even when it’s too wet or windy to apply chemicals the conventional way, you can still apply your fertilizer or pesticide through your pivots. There’s no heavy spray equipment required, so there’s less soil compaction and crop damage. Chemigation allows application of chemicals where and when they’re needed – in the right concentrations. Safety takes priority. With chemigation, it’s easy to avoid human contact with chemicals, since the operator doesn’t need to be in the field during application. Of course, using chemigation requires the safe use of chemicals, skill in calibration, knowledge of the irrigation and chemigation equipment, and understanding of scheduling concepts.

Advantages of Chemigation through Pivots

  •  More uniform application – fertilizer/chemical savings 
  • Nutrients applied on basis of crop need and rate they are utilized 
  • Increased nutrient absorption by plants 
  • Reduction in water usage due to the plant's resulting increased root mass's ability to trap and hold water 
  • Lower application costs 
  • Less use of fertilizers can reduce groundwater contamination, reduced leaching 
  • Reduced crop damage and soil compaction compared to in-field spray 
  • Reduced exposure to chemicals

1 Pesticide Chemigation Through Pumped Irrigation Systems. Anti-Pollution Devices and Management Practices to Prevent Groundwater Contamination. John Carpenter, Agriculturist, Division of Agriculture, and Wayne S. Johnson, State Horticulturist, Nevada Cooperative Extension. 
2 Chemigation in Georgia. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.