LEPA (Low Energy Precise Application) irrigation was developed in the early 1980’s. It was to meet the needs of the declining aquifer levels in the western high plains of the United States. Today, LEPA continues to deliver significant water and energy savings worldwide.
In true LEPA systems, applicators are positioned to deposit water into every other furrow. This requires planting in circles for center pivots and straight rows for linear machines. Heat accumulates in the dry areas and keeps the plant warmer. The plants share the water in the furrow in between. This keeps the crop canopy dry and prevents possible damage from salt in the water. Because water application is close to the soil, LEPA is 95% efficient in water use and requires very low pressure – 6 to 10 psi (0.41 to 0.69 bar). This saves energy and conserves water.
LEPA systems must include furrow dikes or crop residue to hold water in the rows near the plant until the soil can absorb it. LEPA irrigation works best on farms with a flat terrain and relatively sandy or loamy soil where runoff is not as likely as in heavier, tighter soils or sloping terrains.
We introduced our Quad Spray in 1986 specifically for LEPA irrigation. This sprinkler provides four different ways to apply water based on crop need. A simple twist changes this applicator to deliver one of four modes: two different bubble modes that irrigate directly into the furrow, a spray mode for germination, or a chemigation mode to wash the underside of the crop canopy. Other LEPA products include our LDN with a bubbler pad or drag hose adapter, and our Super Spray with a drag hose adapter.