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Jose Fontela, Copywriter and Digital Marketing Coordinator

Senninger Irrigation is proud to announce the recent hire of Jose Fontela, who joins the company as the Copywriter / Digital Marketing Coordinator in the Clermont, Florida office.

Fontela will be researching, drafting and translating articles, promotional materials, company literature, media releases and other marketing and technical contents, as well as managing our online, social media and e-learning efforts. He is available as a guest writer for various industry publications and can be reached at jfontela@senninger.biz or 407-905-8226.

Fontela comes to Senninger with over 10 years of experience in Web content management and press reporting for magazines and on line media. He has written and edited different materials about cultural and natural heritage, tourism, communication and Web editing. Besides, he has been involved with websites development, research and communication campaigns.

Jose Fontela has a Bachelor of Art in Social Communication and Journalism from the University of Oriente in Santiago de Cuba. After he graduated, he also worked as adjunct professor of Fundamentals of Marketing and Advertising.

“We are excited to have Jose Fontela join our marketing team. We look forward the expertise he brings to Senninger and our marketing efforts worldwide,” Diann Ilkenhons, Marketing Manager Senninger Irrigation.

 

Oleg Alexandrov

Oleg Alexandrov, Senninger’s Sales Manager for the Middle East, Eastern Europe and CIS countries.

Oleg Alexandrov is Senninger’s new Sales Manager for the Middle East, Eastern Europe and CIS countries. All customers in the region can reach him for sales inquiries, technical support and regional trade show inquiries. Email: oalexandrov@senninger.biz or Skype: Oalexandrov1.

Oleg received a Master’s Degree from Tymiryazev Agricultural Academy in Moscow and continued his education at the University of Minnesota in the US.

He comes to Senninger with experience in mechanized irrigation and general irrigation. Oleg is committed to irrigation efficiency and looks forward to bringing his skills and experience to irrigators in that region.

Oleg is fluent in English and Russian and even speaks some Spanish. After training at the corporate headquarters, Oleg will reside in his territory.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, our USA offices will be closed on November 26th and 27th. As always, Senninger Irrigation is grateful to our customers and friends. May your hearts be filled with love and blessings. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW Quick Connect Coupling

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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.

Features
• 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

QC1

QC2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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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.


 

Measuring Pressure

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.

 

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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.


 

Measuring Flow

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.

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.

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 Irrigation Infographic

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.

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.


 
So how is close spacing different?

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!

Ground Water Green Site

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.

7 Center Pivot Myths Debunked

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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. Xi Wob on Pivot

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.
 

FROM THE BLOG


Senninger Irrigation

Senninger Irrigation
Senninger
A Hunter Industries Company
16220 East Highway 50
Clermont, FL 34711

Office: (407) 877-5655


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