How to Reduce Runoff and Soil Sealing Using Goosenecks

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Irrigation runoff wastes water and energy. Worse, it can impact yields and result in costly fines depending on your location.

While sandy soils can absorb almost 1 inch of water per hour, heavy clay soils have extremely low infiltration rates around 0.2 inches per hour. These dense soils are prone to runoff, soil sealing and salinity issues. This normally occurs when water is applied at a higher rate than the soil can accept.

We have found that spreading out the water distribution from a single outlet on a pivot is a simple, cost-effective solution for growers struggling with run-off.

Dividing a flow and spreading it out over a larger area lowers a sprinkler’s application intensity and gives the soil time to absorb water at a comfortable rate.

All you need are goosenecks and sprinklers with gentle, uniform distribution. No boom systems, no altering the pivot speed. Just a little ingenuity and a desire to make your irrigation system more sustainable.


How Do Goosenecks Reduce Runoff?

Gooseneck Patterns

A standard goosenecks’ sole purpose is to allow the installation of drops along a pivot. Double goosenecks take it a step further and help lower sprinkler application intensity while maximizing the efficiency of your sprinkler package.

Double 125° goosenecks divide the flow from a single outlet on a pivot and spread it out over a larger area when you install two separate drops on opposite sides of the mainline.

This installation increases your system’s area of coverage while still using the same amount of water.

The less concentrated irrigation lowers the application rate and provides extra soak time without disrupting the soil’s structure. This helps the soil absorb water at the rate it needs and encourages deeper movement of water into the soil.


How Sprinklers Can Help

A good sprinkler head makes the double gooseneck installation even more efficient. No matter which sprinkler you use, our recommendation has always been to find a sprinkler that distributes water instantaneously and uniformly over a large wetted area.

Senninger’s i-Wob®2 with the standard black plate or the grey plate is frequently requested with the double gooseneck. Its wide and gentle application pattern reduces the kinetic impact of droplets on the soil surface and works hand-in-hand with the gooseneck to maintain good root aeration and minimize erosion.

This sprinkler’s consistently sized droplets help maintain pattern integrity in wind conditions and resist evaporation.

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