In a previous post, we shared information about a new project underway in Kansas aimed at evaluating water application methods and technologies.
Established as part of the Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas (Water Vision), three Water Technology Farms are helping researchers determine how to maximize water usage without compromising yields.
Zimmatic dealer American Irrigation is involved with one of the demonstration farms in Finney County – working closely with the landowner, the Garden City Company and the grower, Dwane Roth.
“We are testing several available products on the same Zimmatic pivot,” said Rod Stillwell of American Irrigation. “We integrated FieldNET® by Lindsay Pivot Control which provides remote control and management of the irrigation system. We also installed a Growsmart™ Magnetic Flow Meter to provide flow rate and water usage data and a weather station that sends weather data directly to the FieldNET network.”
Stillwell said they also are adding two types of Bubbler nozzles, both manufactured by Senninger Irrigation, Inc. – the LDN UP3 Bubbler Pad and the LDN UP3 Shroud.
The Bubbler Pad deposits the water directly below the nozzle between each row of corn. They are spaced at 30 inches and are 12 inches above the ground. The Bubbler Shroud makes a wider bubble. They are spaced at 60 inches with an 18-inch ground clearance.
“Both Bubblers place the water gently to the soil,” Stillwell said. “Unlike standard spray nozzles, they do not splash the water off of the crops’ leaves and stalks minimizing wind-drift and evaporation losses. Both also have a spray path that can easily be turned over for germination purposes.”
When compared to other options, the Bubblers are more cost-effective and require less maintenance. And, because they operate at low pressures, they also save energy.
Stillwell added that with Bubbler nozzles there are virtually no wheel tracks, which reduces wear and tear on irrigation and farm equipment.
“The team at American Irrigation is very committed to prolonging the future of the Ogallala Aquifer that supplies water to Southwest Kansas and several other states,” Stillwell said. “This is an ongoing program that will continue into the coming years with diverse technologies being tested on more systems.”