With this much versatility, the applications are only limited to your imagination.
We are proud to announce the release of the Quick Connect Coupling, a lightweight connector that easily joins small diameter PVC pipes.
The Quick Connect Coupling lets growers build the solid set system of their choice and transport it wherever they need it. All it takes is a twist to connect or disconnect the tubing.
The coupling connects small diameter pipes together to create easily collapsible lateral lines, making it ideal for high rotation crops that require growers to remove the irrigation system every few months as they prepare the soil. It was designed to reduce the material costs of an entire irrigation system while making management easier for growers.
• Lightweight for easy portability
• Leak-proof connection of the couplings
• Available in four sizes: 1inch, 1¼ inches, 32mm and 40 mm
• Constructed out of UV-resistant thermoplastics
For years, growers have asked irrigation manufactures “How can I tell if my pressure regulator is bad?” and for years the industry has responded with “Well, it’s not that easy.”
The benefits of incorporating pressure regulators in any pivot irrigation system are clear. Pressure regulators limit excessive and varying inlet (source) pressure to a constant outlet pressure. They keep sprinklers operating at design pressure and flow, and save water by preventing misting, runoff and other issues related to poor uniformity.
Most growers understand the importance of pressure regulation and its connection to water and energy savings. But for many it is difficult to determine exactly when it is time to replace their pressure regulators.
The most common signs of bad or faulty pressure regulators include leakage between the device’s housings, misting or overwatering in some areas, and increased water and energy consumption. These symptoms are easily spotted during a visual check of the system or due to unusual flow meter readings.
There are ways to test pressure regulators with precision. However, manufacturers have long preferred to train grower’s eyes and show them how to spot potential issues. This is not because testing pressure regulators and seeking precise measurement readings is impossible. Manufacturers made this choice because the time and effort time-strapped growers would have to dedicate to testing is normally unfeasible.
Pressure gauges accurately monitor system pressure. Senninger’s gauges are vibration and shock resistant. They are designed according to ANSI/ASME B40 standards and have a high accuracy class of +/- 1 to 2.5% of span.
The best way to know if the pressure regulator is working is to install a pressure gauge on each side of the regulator. Growers can measure inlet pressure with a pressure gauge above the regulator. Then they can measure the outlet pressure with the gauge below the regulator. Inlet pressure should be at least 5 psi (0.34 bar) above the pressure regulator rating for the regulator to function.
If a pressure regulator delivers an outlet pressure significantly above its rating it is considered faulty. However, pressure regulators are typically rated for an accuracy of +/- a certain percent and growers need to check with the manufacturers to determine how much variation is permissible and/or expected. For example, a 15 psi (1.03 bar) pressure regulator delivering an outlet pressure of 20 psi (1.38 bar) would be regarded as malfunctioning if the manufacturer establishes an accuracy of +/- 6 percent.
Pressure gauges can provide an accurate reading, but getting gauges installed on a number of test drops is a time consuming process. First, a grower needs to dismantle each hose drop to remove its components and install the gauges above and below the regulator. Then he or she must restart the pivot and read each individual gauge.
Depending on the size of the pivot, a grower could have anywhere between 5 and 15 drops to test in order to get an accurate picture of the system’s pressure regulation status. Growers can keep two gauges in place – one at the beginning and one at the end of the pivot. The grower will have to test one span and slowly move on to another with the two other gauges.
Many growers can also perform a test using a pitot tube inserted in the nozzle stream. This device can be a bit tricky to use as the reading may vary depending on where growers place the tube along the stream. They will also need to refer to a nozzle flow chart to compare the measurement to the nozzle and pressure needed for that hose drop.
You can measure water with a simple bucket test at the point where sprinklers apply water to the field. You can record water flow from your water meter and compare with results from the bucket collection results.
The operating pressure of an irrigation system always affects the flow rate. Higher-pressure increases flow along any pipe and as that flow increases, water velocity increases as well. This means that growers can also test the functionality of their regulators by measuring the flow that comes out of each sprinkler head.
The first thing growers need to do is check to see if the drops along their pivot are mounted in the correct place. A sprinkler package checklist can help them determine if higher or lower flow nozzles have been installed correctly.
Growers can also measure their flow with a bucket-type collector to catch water from sprinklers. This catchment must be timed to be able to calculate the flow rate (GPM or L/hr) from an individual sprinkler head and compare it to the flow that nozzle should produce. If the amount of water caught is not between +/- 3% of the design flow rate, this implies there may be a problem with the pressure regulators.
Why Visually Inspect
After testing system pressure, growers who encounter issues must then ask themselves how many pressure regulators need to be replaced. Should the grower assume they all need to be replaced if only a certain number are malfunctioning at key points along the pivot? Should the regulators along the entire system be replaced? It’s a judgement call on the part of the grower.
This is why most manufactures recommend growers study their system’s application pattern and consider replacing pressure regulators after approximately 3 to 5 years of use.
Investing in new pressure regulators may not seem worth the investment. However, if an irrigation system is not performing up to standard, the time and money lost in wasted input costs and yield loss is a high price to pay. Growers can test their regulators with precision if they choose. It is an excellent idea for anyone who wants to know exactly what is happening in their system. But the time it takes to perform these tests is simply not feasible for many others.
Eyeballing a field and looking for trouble spots may not be the most scientific or data driven way to check pressure regulators, but it rarely fails at identifying issues and it fits right into an grower’s schedule.
Understanding soil texture is a key factor for successful crop production. Soil texture is crucial when determining what crops grow best in a field and how farmers should manage their land.
It’s particularly important if crops need irrigation.
Soil and water compatibility is extremely important to irrigated land. Water that is not applied at a rate and intensity compatible with a farm’s soil texture will have adverse effects on the chemical and physical properties of the soil.
That is why putting the focus on soil is key to irrigation management and selecting the right equipment for the job. While there are various considerations to take when selecting a sprinkler system, there are two big reasons to put priority on soil texture: it will let you know what flow rate (application rate) you need and how much water you can drop on your soil without damaging it.
Understanding Infiltration Rates
A good understanding of a field’s soil texture will help irrigators determine the length and frequency of irrigation events.
Water infiltrates soil’s pores at varying rates depending on texture. For example, water infiltrates through dense, clay soils around 1 to 5 mm/hr while sandy soils can absorb water at 30 mm/hr. This means that a water layer of 30mm on the soil surface will take one hour to infiltrate sandy soil. However, this amount of water will take much longer to infiltrate clay soils. With more than 5mm/hr, runoff, soil sealing and salinity issues are likely to occur due to poor drainage and pooling on the soil surface.
As a rule of thumb, farmers irrigating sandy soils need to irrigate more often for shorter intervals. Irrigating sandy soil for too long will waste water due to deep percolations and wash nutrients beneath the root zone. Clay soils require long and infrequent irrigation while loam soils are somewhere in between.
i-Wob installed on Senninger’s 125-degree double goosenecks. Double goosenecks spread out the sprinkler’s application pattern.
Focus on Application Rate
The application rate of a sprinkler system must match the intake rate of the least porous soil in a field. If the application rate exceeds the soil intake rate, water will run off the field or relocate within the field, resulting in over and under watered areas.
Matching sprinkler application rates to the soil intake rate can be difficult though. The rate at which water infiltrates into soil is complex. First, the intake rate varies with time, being higher when water is first applied and decreasing as the soil obtains more moisture.
Application rate also varies depending on the crop growing.
For example, corn may need 7.0 mm (0.27 inches) of water per day during ear formation no matter the soil type. Gowers irrigating sandy soils will probably need to apply 1499 L/hr (6.6 GPM) for every acre irrigated to keep the crop healthy. In contrast, growers irrigating silt-loam soil may only need to apply 1113 L/hr (4.9 GPM) for every acre. If the corn is rotated with dry beans later on though, then growers will need sprinklers than can be adjusted to apply 1612 L/hr (7.1 GPM) for every acre irrigated over sandy soils.
Irrigating just taking into account crop needs alone is risky and could result in lesser yields or poor crop development.
i-Wob with Senninger’s new thermoplastic Magnum Weight. The i-Wob comes with four different deflectors designed for different soil types.
Don’t Forget Application Intensity
Before choosing a sprinkler system based on flow rate alone, it is important to think about the sprinkler’s wetted pattern and how the water is applied over the soil surface.
As water droplets are distributed onto the soil, the structure and infiltration rate of the soil becomes altered. To keep soil close to its pre-irrigation state, growers need to distribute water over largest area of instantaneous coverage possible and with low application intensity.
Although larger droplets are desirable to combat wind-drift, droplets that are too large have a higher kinetic energy. This can cause surface sealing and lead to erosion or inefficient irrigation on tighter soils. In general, tighter soils benefit from smaller droplets while looser soils can accept larger droplets. Sprinklers with customizable deflectors and a wide range of nozzles, like the Senninger i-Wob, are well suited for various soil textures due to the variety of droplet sizes available. The droplet size can be tailored to the needs of the soil and the flow rate can be adjusted for specific crop and climatic needs.
LEPA is designed to apply water more efficiently for center pivot irrigation systems. This reduces water use and water pump energy consumption by 15-30%.
We’ve talked a lot about close spacing and LEPA irrigation methods in the past year as drought continues to wreck havoc across farmland in the United States. At Senninger, we believe that LEPA and close spacing methods are a real and tested solution for growers in water scarce regions and we will continue to promote them as part of our water and energy savings solutions.
Among those already familiar with LEPA or close spacing a question surfaces though.
What is the difference between these two methods?
At a glance, close spacing and traditional LEPA irrigation seem virtually the same. Both methods require nearly identical management practices and provide similar benefits.
In traditional LEPA systems, applicators are mounted far apart so they can irrigate every other furrow. Less than half of the soil surface is wetted to reduce evaporation losses as much as possible. True LEPA systems use low-pressure bubble heads to deposit water directly into furrows just 8 to 18 inches above the ground. With the heads closer to the crop, the water avoids the hitting leaves. Water does not come in contact with plants and fruit susceptible to water borne diseases and nearly all of it is absorbed by the soil.
LEPA is primarily used on relatively flat fields and it also requires circular planting to keep the sprinkler centered in the furrow. Circular rows help increase uniform water disbursement and reduces runoff.
According to researchers at Texas A&M, at least 20% more water will reach the soil surface compared to conventional spray heads, which are very susceptible to high wind speed, low relative humidity, temperature, and evaporation losses. For a growers with a center pivot operating at 800 GPM, this means they can get an extra 140 to 180 GPM to the ground and the crop.
So how is close spacing different?
Traditionally, bubblers were mounted so they would wet every other furrow. Less than one-half of the soil surface was wetted, which dramatically cut surface soil evaporation.
Growers using close-spacing methods place applicators on every row to wet the entire soil surface. This means they are usually just 30 inches apart. With the help of the residue left behind, they can fully fill the soil profile during pre-watering and achieve more uniform root zone coverage without worrying about surface soil evaporation.
The residue left over from previous growing seasons suddenly becomes more than just a buffer to prevent runoff and erosion. It protects the water applied by keeping the soil cool and keeping the water in place until the soil is ready to soak it. Previous root channels left untilled also help water channel down below the soil surface. Conventional tillage dries out the soil, but strip-till and no-till farmers retain an additional 2 to 4 inches of soil moisture depending on the season.
Farmers in the High Plains are modifying traditional LEPA practices and mounting bubblers with just 30 inches of space between heads.
To learn more about LEPA irrigation and close spacing, visit our LDN UP3 product page or review our LEPA Close Spacing Guide and Drought Solutions Brochure. Contact Us if you have any questions about LEPA Bubblers or if you would like to know if LEPA is right for you.
We are proud to announce our main office in Florida has been designated as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site by The Groundwater Foundation!
The Ground Water Foundation educates people and inspires action to ensure sustainable, clean groundwater for future generations.
Groundwater Guardian Green Sites are spaces recognized for their excellent groundwater and environmental stewardship. They implement groundwater and surface water-friendly practices to help protect and conserve local water supplies.As a leader in water conservation technology for the agricultural industry, Senninger is committed to reducing their ecological footprint.
The company was recognized for their efforts to contain and treat water used in their testing field and for washing, refusal to apply any fertilizers or pesticides around active wells, dispose of or recycle toxic substances and hazardous waste through recommended channels, and engineer slopes to prevent any potential water or chemical runoff into local water areas. These efforts to “go green” earned them the exclusive designation as a Groundwater Green Site.
“I’m excited about what Senninger does as a company,” says James Burks, President of Senninger Irrigation. “We help irrigators by advancing technology that aids enormously in water conservation. We wanted to participate in the Groundwater Guardian Green Site program because the activity required to achieve this designation helps to connect our employees with what our company does for our industry. Senninger Irrigation should be accountable for our utilization of our water resource and the Green Site Program helps raise awareness so that we can work together in maintaining that accountability.”
Senninger hopes that others in the industry will follow their example and become motivated to implement groundwater and surface water-friendly practices.
Groundwater Guardian Green Sites is a program of The Groundwater Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska with a mission to educate people and inspire action to ensure sustainable, clean groundwater for future generations. The program began in 2007 to recognize good stewards of groundwater by encouraging managers of highly-managed green spaces to implement, measure, and document their groundwater-friendly practices.
Center pivot technology has come a long way in recent years with improvements to irrigation efficiency and data tracking. As pivot and sprinkler manufacturers develop a better understanding of soil health and the water needs of various crops, technologies change and evolve so farmers can irrigate with less water and less energy, while still keeping the high yields needed to feed the world.
Today, most pivot irrigators have abandoned the inefficient impact sprinklers familiar to most fruit and vegetable growers and replaced them with water and energy efficient sprinkler heads, like LEPA applicators.
They have adopted new monitoring technologies that give them the ability to monitor almost every aspect of the system, from how much water needs to be applied and to when water is delivered. Farmers can also verify a system’s efficiency and make any necessary adjustments to their pivots easily.
Despite these improvements, there are still many farmers across the world that have never considered center pivots efficient irrigation systems.
We at Senninger have been working with pivot systems for over 30 years and we firmly believe pivots are and will continue to be efficient and continuously improving systems that save water and energy will helping growers obtain high yields. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top pivot irrigation myths and decided to debunk them once and for all!
Myth #1 Pivots can’t irrigate corners without water wasting end guns.
Farmers who want to try center pivot irrigation but want to continue farming the corners of their fields can add swing arms that attach to the ends of the pivots and water the corners of the fields.
Myth #2 Pivot sprinklers waste water through runoff and surface soil evaporation.
Some pivot sprinklers are less efficient than others, particularly sprinklers that throw water high in the air. Good quality sprinklers irrigate with large droplets the air can’t steal and distribute water instantaneously over their entire surface area. Spreading out the droplets over a large area helps preserve soil’s intake rate and ability to absorb water.
For more information, please review our Lowering Application Intensity Guide.
Myth #3 Pivots can’t be used with crops prone to foliar disease, like tomatoes.
Pivot sprinklers are extremely flexible! A spray head like the Senninger LDN can be used in spray mode to germinate fields as a growing season begins. Then it can be switched to LEPA bubble mode, which avoids wetting crop leaves. The sprinkler can also be converted to a drag hose if necessary.
For more information on the LDN’s LEPA options, please review our LDN FAQ Section.
Myth #4 Pivots can only irrigate a limited number of crops like corn or cotton.
Did you know pivots are used to irrigate rice, tomatoes and sugar cane? Growers with center pivots are free to rotate crops every season, change row spacing or switch between high and low profile crops. It’s easy to modify pivots to irrigate different types of crops – most of the changes have to do with sprinkler height and application rate – and they are easy to move out of the way when it is time for planting or harvesting.
Myth #5 Pivots are way more expensive than other systems.
The price of a pivot may seem overwhelming at first, but investing in a pivot means you invest in an irrigation system that can last up to 25 years. Pivots are very easy to maintain. Most of what you pay is for the system itself – you won’t have to worry about filtration, checking the system for rodent damage, system flushing, air discharging, etc. Moreover, if there comes a moment when a component needs repairs, fixing the components will not lower the system’s overall application efficiency.
Myth #6 Pivot technology is always changing so there’s no point in buying something that will soon be outdated.
The main components of a pivot will last for decades. Add-ons like GPS control, automated system control and Variable Rate Irrigation Technology can be installed long after the pivot is purchased so growers always have the option of keeping up to date with the latest technologies. Sprinklers and pressure regulators can be easily replaced when they wear or if new technology becomes available.
Myth #7 Sprinklers use too much water and energy.
Sprinklers use anywhere from 0.27 to 30 gallons of water per minute and they only need 6 to 20 psi to operate, depending on the model selected.
For more information on the benefits of low pressure sprinklers, please review our Energy Calculator.
Originally published in the April / May issue (Volume 7, issue 4, 2015) of SABI Magazine – written by Senninger Irrigation
Irrigation practices affect your soil as much as tillage practices, crop rotations, soil amendments and other management choices. Keeping an eye on water application rate and experimenting with new ways to lower application intensity can go a long way in preserving soil’s structure and infiltration capacity.
Center pivot irrigation has proven successful in achieving uniform water distribution over field crops.
Compared to older irrigation techniques, like surface irrigation, pivots offer accurate water distribution at low pressures (under 30 psi), and the ability to monitor soil moisture and only apply water as needed. They are also one of the most economical options for irrigating on a large scale.
Unfortunately, the efficiency of pivot systems can be a little difficult to maintain when watering tight dense soils with low infiltration rates.
Water infiltrates soil’s pores at varying rates depending on texture. If sprinkler application rates exceed the soil’s infiltration rate, water begins pooling on the surface, resulting in runoff.
Sprinklers that distribute water with high application intensity are also a leading cause of runoff and soil compaction. Higher application intensity disrupts the soil’s composition and leads to surface sealing, which reduces infiltration rates.
Pivot irrigators frequently turned to boom systems or increased pivot speed to reduce runoff, but there are easier and more economical ways to reduce water application rates.
One method is to incorporate thermoplastic double goosenecks into a pivot sprinkler package. Double goosenecks take the water flow from a single outlet on the mainline and spread it out over a larger area using truss rod hose slings.
Spreading water over a larger area lowers the sprinkler’s application intensity, minimizes the potential for surface sealing, and helps soil absorb water at the rate it needs. This reduces surface soil evaporation and encourages deeper movement of water into the soil.
For more information about spreading out water and lowering application intensity, please see our Lowering Application Intensity Guide.
Double goosenecks increase a sprinkler’s wetted area to reduce application intensity and lower the pivot system’s water application rate. They spread out water distribution and prevent soil sealing and runoff.
Originally published in the Feb / Mar of SABI Magazine – written by Senninger Irrigation
Farming is already difficult due to unpredictable rainfall and increasing temperatures. It is even harder when electricity costs farmers anywhere from 69c to 85c per kW hour on average. With rapidly increases energy prices, the economic viability of farming is only going to decrease.
Keeping farm profits sustainable will require some adjustments, and one of the easiest to make is modifying irrigation practices. Pumping water for irrigation is perhaps the biggest source of energy consumption on the farm. Farmers cannot simply stop irrigating, but they can adopt new technologies designed to lower their energy requirements. The first step is converting high-pressure irrigation systems to energy efficient low-pressure models.
Low Pressures Save Energy
Wobbling sprinklers only use around 0.5 to 20 gallons of water per minute and 10 to 30 psi to operate.
Extracting irrigation water from rivers, streams and aquifers is a highly energy intensive process.
Unfortunately, most irrigation systems still depend on high-pressure impact sprinklers to water fields. Impact sprinklers release enormous amounts of water using pressures between 30 to 60 psi (2 to 4 bar).
They require pumps to push large volumes of water through pipeline at rapid velocities in order to maintain their wetted patterns.
Systems that are more efficient use low-pressure sprinklers designed to operate with just 10 to 25 psi (0.70 to 1.7 bar).
These sprinklers reduce pumping demands without significantly reducing flow, so crops can continue to receive a healthy amount of water. They also let farmers reduce their pump size or trim their impellers to reduce horsepower requirements.
More importantly, low-pressure sprinklers can further reduce energy by increasing irrigation efficiency.
High-pressure impact sprinklers throw small water droplets into the air in a concentrated stream. They tend to create fine droplets that are easily carried by wind and rapidly evaporate in dry atmospheric conditions. In contrast, low-pressure sprinklers tend to irrigate with larger droplets more resistant to strong winds and evaporation.
Well-designed, low-pressure systems can achieve a DU in excess of 95%. When less water is lost, the sprinklers can run for shorter intervals. Some low-pressure sprays, like Senninger’s Wobblers, apply water instantaneously in a 360-degree wetted pattern. Application intensity onto the soil is very low, with the effect being similar to that of light rain. This helps maintain the soil’s infiltration capabilities. Impact sprinklers apply water with a concentrated stream, causing severe soil disturbance, surface compaction and run-off. They generally take 60 to 120 seconds to cover their wetted circle.
Breaking Down the Costs
Energy savings vary depending on the specific irrigation system, hours of operation, flow, and pressure used. Still, farmers can expect to see energy savings of about 50-percent with low-pressure sprinklers like the aforementioned Wobblers.
For example, an average system with 40m³/ hour flow per hectare, operating 1000 hours per year at 85 cents per kW hour, could potentially save R 2840.16 ($237.17 US dollars) per hectare per year or achieve around 58% in savings just by switching to low pressure sprinklers operating at 10 psi (0.70 bar).
Don’t Just Lower Your System Pressure
Sprinklers designed for higher operating pressures cannot be used at lower pressures.
Every applicator is designed to operate within a range of flows and pressures. This keeps their application patterns uniform and helps them produce the correct droplet size. Operating impact sprinklers with just 0.70 to 1 bar will distort the sprinkler’s pattern and result in even lower efficiency. It will also make them distribute water in excessively large droplets that can cause runoff or soil sealing.
Farmers must be certain their new sprinklers are specifically designed for low-pressure operation before reducing pressures and pump sizes. The criteria for low pressure may vary from one manufacturer to another. However, most manufactures agree that anything over 2 bar is a mid-range to high-range sprinkler.
Irrigation can either increase your crop quality and yields, or damage your soils and slash your profits.
Most of us in the Ag industry know irrigation systems are essential for strong plants and crops. Unfortunately, we still see plenty of nurseries and greenhouses with runoff issues, nutrient leaching, and general water waste.
The ability to apply water efficiently and uniformly over a designated area has a major influence on the agronomic and economic viability of a nursery operation. Growers can increase their irrigation efficiency and virtually eliminate runoff, root disease and aeration issues in their fields by following a few simple rules for proper irrigation design, operation and maintenance.
Rule #1: Design it Right
Inappropriate system design is probably the biggest cause of inefficient irrigation. A badly designed system will not irrigate uniformly. With a bad design, be ready for overwatering, runoff or under watering.
Growers with an existing irrigation system may not want to hear that their overhead systems may need a re-design. However, an installation that correctly follows the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations can mean the difference between a healthy field and unmarketable crops.
When designing an efficient system, it is important to take spacing restrictions, operating pressure and application rate into consideration.
A common question asked is, “How long should I irrigate?” and there is no simple answer. It all depends on your system’s flow rate over a surface area.
In general, determining your application rate involves knowing how much water a specific crop needs at different growing stages and how easily the soil can absorb the water. For example, some tomatoes grown in containers may require irrigation more than once a day. But it’s the field’s soil type that determines how much water needs to be applied each time the system is turned on.
Sprinklers need to be selected and spaced so as not to exceed the ideal application rates. They are designed to irrigate at specific flow rates and to reach certain diameters of coverage. To obtain maximum efficiency and reduce runoff, the system design must work within the sprinkler manufacturer’s parameters. This includes spacing, flow rate and pressure range.
Rule #2: Get the Best Sprinkler
The quality of a sprinkler can have a great effect on a system’s overall efficiency.
Most nursery growers are familiar with impact sprinklers, which require higher flows and pressures to operate. These sprinklers also irrigate using distinct streams that instantaneously place their entire flow over a relatively small area. High-pressure impact sprinklers also create fine droplets that are easily carried by wind and rapidly evaporate in dry atmospheric conditions.
Growers can obtain greater irrigation efficiency with sprinklers that instantaneously cover their entire wetted circle. Having a larger instantaneous area of coverage helps eliminate dry spots, increase uniformities, maintain soil infiltration capabilities, and reduce soil structure degradation and run-off.
Equally important is using a sprinkler than can combat wind-drift and evaporation. Sprinklers that distribute water in consistently sized droplets help maintain pattern integrity in wind conditions. Ideally, growers should have the largest droplet size possible that does not have adverse effects on soil or crop. Droplets that are too small are prone to wind-drift and evaporative loss, which lowers irrigation efficiency, and wastes water and energy.
Rule #3: Keep Your System in Check
Maintaining an overhead irrigation system is a little easier than keeping other systems in check, but that does not mean growers can forget about upkeep. Growers need to regularly inspect their overall watering system for leaks, broken lines, or damaged equipment.
They should also check their sprinklers while they are operating to pinpoint any issues such as overwatering, misting, misdirected patterns, or lack of uniformity. Clogged nozzles are usually the culprit behind pattern distortion.
On the other hand, issues like misting and overwatering may be due to changes in pressure and flow along the system. This just means a grower may need pressure regulators to keep efficiencies in check.
Sprinklers and applicators are designed to operate within a range of pressures that provide optimal performance. Unfortunately, system pressures will vary due to elevation changes in a field and pressure loss through pipefittings.
When pressures are too low, the sprinkler’s rotational speed is altered. This may lead to dry spots and under watering. Higher pressures can cause overwatering near the sprinkler head and create small droplets susceptible to wind-drift and evaporation. Pressure regulators eliminate these pressure fluctuations and help maintain sprinkler pattern integrity and performance.