As you begin planning for 2018, be sure to take close look at your irrigation system – it could be the key to improving yields or reducing input costs.
Brad Dunbar, regional manager at Lindsay Corporation, recommends taking the following steps now to ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency during the next growing season.
- Run a sprinkler “catch can” test. Even a small amount of grit or mineral will wear nozzles, sprinkler plates and pressure regulators over time – which can impact application accuracy. While the “catch can” test will take some time to set up, it will give you a good indication of how your sprinkler package is performing –revealing problems that need to be corrected before the next growing season.
- Schedule a maintenance check. To keep your pivots running smoothly, take a close look at all the system components and repair, replace or upgrade as needed. Contact your local Zimmatic dealer to schedule a comprehensive inspection of all your machines – regardless of age or brand.
- Correct tracking problems. Wheel tracks can lead to a host of problems –stuck machines, flat tires, stress on the drive line, damaged equipment and planting challenges. Your dealer can help you find a solution to limit the damage, including sprinkler design at the tower, radial tires, non-directional tires or NFTrax – our airless wheel assembly.
- Align flow and pressure. Sprinkler packages are set up for an optimum amount of flow and pressure. When these are not aligned, the pivot is not running efficiently. With a flow meter and pressure gauge, you will know the machine is running in sync with the sprinkler package. Adding a pressure gauge on the end of the machine is also a good idea.
- Review field data. Yield maps, aerial imagery and soil maps can reveal potential changes that should be made for the next year, including plugged sprinklers, over-watered areas and sprinklers affected by crop canopy.
- Boost efficiency with technology. Integrating FieldNET® by Lindsay technology into your center pivot system (including existing pivots of any brand) gives you the ability to remotely control and monitor your system from virtually anywhere via smartphone, tablet or computer – helping maximize yields while saving water, energy and other input costs.