Why Sprinkler Irrigation?
The difference in yield between irrigated and non-irrigated cotton varies based on regional and climatic conditions, but some studies show that watered cotton increased yields by 200% or even 300%.
Irrigation systems ensure cotton plants receive the amount of water they need throughout the entire growing season. They also give growers the ability to retain soil moisture levels during critical crop growth stages. If plants don’t get at least 500 mm of water between germination and boll formation, cotton production can be seriously harmed.
Senninger sprinklers are designed to meet the crop water needs at different growth stages, match the infiltration capabilities of diverse soil types, and combat the adverse climatic conditions in cotton growing regions.
- 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 evaporation loss.
- 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.
Bob Glodt of Plainview, Texas was honored as 2013 Cotton Consultant of the Year. He’s been an agricultural consultant since 1980 and operates his own demonstration farm. Glodt was a guest speaker at the 2018 Texas Alliance for Water Conservation Field Day at Muncy, Texas where he stressed the importance of LEPA for cotton irrigation.
“I go around the country and I see these broadcast spray systems and I can’t, for the life of me, understand why we’ve been so slow to change back to LEPA. A LEPA system is 80% efficient, which means, if you put on an inch of water, you’re going to get eight-tenths of good out of it. If you put it in a broadcast spray, you’re spreading water over 60 inches instead of 30 inches on 30-inch rows or spreading it over 80 inches rather than 40 inches on 40-inch rows. It’s not going to penetrate into the soil as equally and it’s going to have more water exposed to heat and wind, and your efficiency is going to be around 50 percent. So, you’re losing a third on an inch for every inch you are putting on,” he said.
“And if you put on 10 inches, that’s three inches you’re going to lose. My data show you can make around 80 to 90 pounds of cotton per inch, so if you’ve lost three inches, three inches times 90 pounds is 270 pounds of lint for a total yield. Those tiny amounts make a big difference.” (Source)