Why Sprinkler Irrigation?
Alfalfa’s water requirements are comparable to that of crops like spinach, wheat, almonds or corn, but its long growing season and high acreage make it one of the most-water-intensive crops. It takes about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) of supplemental irrigation to produce each ton (11 to 17 cm per ton) of dry hay.
Alfalfa is often grown in areas where water is a limited resource, partly due to its ability to tolerate periodic droughts. However, to produce optimum yields, soil water content in the root zone should be kept between 50 to 90%.
Senninger® sprinklers are designed to save water by combating wind-drift and evaporation. Our low pressure, high performance sprinklers provide:
- Outstanding Uniformity
Uniform distribution pattern helps achieve a more uniform root zone coverage, which results in higher moisture levels.
- Ideal Droplet Size
Sprinklers distribute water in larger droplets resistant to wind-drift and evaporative losses.
- Low Application Intensity
Irrigating with low application intensity prevents run-off and overwatering, which could lead to weed invasion or disease proliferation.
- Low Operating Pressures
Lower operating pressures from 6 to 20 psi (0.41 to 1.38 bar) reduce energy costs.
Success in the Field
Location: Dyer, Nevada USA
Declining water tables, increasing pumping costs, as well as wind and evaporation losses led John Maurer to research new ways to reduce his water usage and still retain high yields.
With the help of Senninger's LEPA experts, John installed the Senninger LDN LEPA with a Shroud and a CM1 bubbler insert along with 10 psi (0.69 bar) pressure regulators.
When checking the yield beneath the LEPA bubblers, John saw an increase in production and decided to install LEPA sprinklers on his other machines. The next pivot setup with the Shroud and bubbler insert combination became Triple D Ranch’s top producer, driving them to set about converting as many machines as they could, even between cuttings.
Location: Southwest Arizona USA
In Arizona and Imperial Valley, California summer weather brings temperatures around 118-120 °F, and ET rates range between six-tenths to seven-tenths of an inch a day.
Farmers in the region are irrigating around 6,000 hours a year and farming 12 months out of the year, so most are looking for ways to lower their pumping costs.
Southwest Irrigation has been recommending LEPA Close Spacing packages for 25 years. In their experience, a LEPA sprinkler closer to the ground uses less horsepower and less pressure to achieve the same results as a traditional sprinkler that's 3, 4, or 6 feet off the ground. LEPA lets growers irrigate more acres and save money because they can put more water on the ground more efficiently and get a better uniform crop.