Before adding a drop span onto his pivot, Doug Rafert moved a lot of pipe.
“I used to use gravity flow to flood the area where the pivot couldn’t reach,” he said. “We were spending four to five days moving things around, just so we could water a few acres. It’s so much easier now.”
Rafert produces seed corn, corn and soybeans on 2,600 acres near Gresham, Nebraska. Sixteen center pivots work over his fields but, because an old farmhouse was in the way, they couldn’t reach about five acres.
“I wanted to use those acres for seed corn, but Pioneer requires the crop to be under a pivot,” he said. “I added the drop span, so I could put those acres into production.”
With the Zimmatic 9500DS, growers can quickly and easily drop obstructed outer spans, irrigate and then reattach those spans to continue irrigation. It’s typically a one-person job and only takes about 10 minutes to drop and another 10 minutes to reconnect, with no tools required.
“I can do it myself and, if I can do it, anybody can. It’s really pretty quick and simple,” Rafert said. “My brother has a drop span from another manufacturer – it’s not as easy to disconnect and connect as the 9500DS.”
In addition to saving time, Rafert said the drop span gives him more planting options.
“It’s so much easier now than when we had to move pipes,” he said. “And, if we didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be able to plant seed corn on that plot. I would have to plant something else.”