In a previous blog post, we shared examples of yield maps that show some of the most common sprinkler problems, including signs of incorrect spacing, worn parts and improper design.
“If you’re seeing spots or streaks on your yield maps, there are likely problems with your sprinklers – problems that should be corrected before the next growing season,” said Aaron Sauser, sprinkler and VRI specialist at Lindsay Corporation.
Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, Sauser suggests working with your local Zimmatic dealer to design a custom sprinkler package that meets the specific needs of your operation. While there are dozens of options, he recommends keeping these five things to consider when designing a custom package:
Flow rate – There are four factors that determine machine flow rate – climate, environment, crop water requirements and potential irrigated area. Your dealer will help you design a sprinkler package that can deliver sufficient flow to raise the crop when it’s at peak water usage.
Pressure – Pressure, or the amount of energy needed to push water through the pivot, depends on field elevation. To ensure proper performance from sprinklers and regulators, it’s important to maintain five pounds of pressure over regulator size with maximum elevation.
Soil type – Different soil types require different watering patterns. To avoid ponding or runoff, it’s important to evaluate absorption rates, available storage and soil sealing.
Spacing – Well-planned spacing is critical for proper overlap, uniformity and absorption rates – different diameters will directly affect sprinkler spacing.
Nozzles – Nozzle choice determines droplet size, trajectory, water patterns and more – and there are a lot to choose from. Your dealer will help you which size/type will help you maximize efficiency and yield.
Visit your local Zimmatic dealer to discuss the best sprinkler solution for your crop and conditions and begin building a customized package that will help you improve efficiency and boost yields.