“I would recommend this for California production, especially for the amount of vegetables and small seeded-products that are grown out here. I can't think of anything at this point that could improve what we're doing now.”
Bob Bender grows baby potatoes and rotates these with carrots and other small-seeded crops on his land in Bakersfield, California. “Once you get into carrots and trying to germinate carrots, it's a totally different ball game than just growing potatoes,” Bender said. He needed a sprinkler that provided the finest droplet size and the most uniform application as possible. "It’s important to adjust the flow and watering cycles to keep an adequate moisture level in the seedbed and achieve good germination rates," he added.
He decided to use the Senninger LDN® UP3® on his linear systems, following a recommendation from Valley dealer Rick Grimes. He tried the LDN with the cotton plate and found it provided a small droplet size ideal for germinating his small-seeded crops. His linears were also set up with the 10 psi pressure regulators.
Bender mounted his LDN sprinklers with 30-inch spacing between drops and at about three feet off the surface, in most cases.
When Bob Bender installed the LDN UP3s on his linear machines he found they gave him the fine droplet size he needed to germinate his small-seeded crops. They also allowed him to adjust the amount of water he applied depending on the carrots' growth stage.
“For germinating carrots, we're trying to stay 0.10 to 0.15 of an inch per application.” Bender said. “We're trying to get back every four hours with that type of irrigation rate in order to make sure that the seedbed doesn't dry out in the top quarter inch, which is critical. That's where our sprinklers have really helped us succeed in getting the highest germination rates that they're seeing in carrots in the valley.” Bender thinks this success is because the LDN UP3s deliver the finest droplet size as possible and have the most uniform application rate.
The 30-inch spacing between heads “is proven to assist us in getting germination and not have water run out of our fields,” Bender stated. He is also using less water and attributes this savings to the high distribution uniformity of LDN UP3s.
The LDN UP3 is easy to change and has no mechanical moving parts that cause it to stop, which are other benefits it brings to Bender’s operation.
“I'm constantly looking for land where I could put this linear system on with this type of nozzle package because it's definitely paid dividends for us here at Tasteful Selections,” Bender said. “I would recommend this for California production, especially for the amount of vegetables and the small-seeded products that are grown out here. I can't think of anything actually at this point that could improve what we're doing now.”