Irrigation technology working to improve crops and save resources
Through the years, the application of irrigation water has become more precise. From flood irrigation to today’s cloud-based scheduling technologies, growers not only can apply the correct amount of water, but also save it through more accurate application methods.
To achieve optimal yields, crops need water to be uniformly applied. But few fields are flat and perfectly sized, so pivots couldn’t water them evenly. Their varying shapes and terrains, along with corners, made them a challenge to irrigate.
In order to help producers grow more with the water they have available to them; agronomists have studied the amount and timing of applied moisture needed by different plants. For those crops planted on irregular fields, swing arms are often employed. On a 160-acre square field, up to 26 additional acres can be added under a single swing arm.
Swing arm corners improved
With the advancement of swing arm corners and easy-to-use water application technologies, producers have an opportunity to make decisions that will get the most from their entire field.
Reinke’s electronic swing arm corner technology, known as ESAC, controls sprinkler water application and virtually eliminate under- and over-watering on corners.
“Growers have long used swing arms in their fields to help increase acres under irrigation and improve plant productivity, but the technology wasn’t available to evenly apply irrigation water or chemigation,” says Cody Bailey, director of product management for Reinke. “With ESAC, they now have a way to manage precision irrigation on different field shapes and terrains that will give them high-quality growth on those acres.”
In tests, ESAC has shown major improvements for irregular-shaped fields and corner applications. With electronic zone control based on GPS positioning, ESAC optimizes the application into individual field specifications by controlling the sprinklers in 6 or 12 zones.
The advancements made with this technology won ESAC both an AE50 award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and the Irrigation Association New Product People's Choice Award for agriculture irrigation.
Accurate irrigation improves crop health
Any crop under pivot irrigation can benefit from more accurate water application. From potatoes and sugar beets to corn and soybeans, uniform irrigation benefits the plant health of most all row plants.
With ESAC’s precision application technology and consistently performing irrigation systems from Reinke, growers can irrigate up to 98.7 percent in an 160 acre field, increasing their operation’s productivity.
“With improved technology like ESAC, we’ve put the power of precision irrigation into growers’ hands,” said Bailey. “By making it easy to navigate, Reinke has helped growers increase what they can grow on their land and improve their profitability.”
ESAC is available on all of Reinke’s swing arm models and on competitive systems as a retro swing arm corner span.
As seen on Farm Progress' Western Farmer-Stockman.
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