Maintaining Peak Pivot Performance
You completed pre-season maintenance and repairs, but how can you be sure your pivot operates at peak performance throughout the growing season?
“Correct system pressure is very important to efficient sprinkler operation,” said Brad Dunbar, aftermarket manager at Lindsay Corporation. “If the pressure is too low, the sprinklers and pressure regulators will not operate correctly, leading to uneven application rates. If the pressure is to high, it’s wasting energy. The pressure should be monitored frequently during the season."
If the pivot is operating up a hill, the pressure point will need to be higher to compensate for the increased elevation (1 psi for each 2.3 feet of elevation increase). You can also install a gauge on the end of the pivot, just before one of the last regulators, and then check the pressure when the end of the pivot is at the highest elevation. The reading should be at least five pounds higher than the rated pressure of the regulator.
If the pump is no longer able to supply the same quantity of water at the same pressure, then you should run a new sprinkler chart to reflect the lower flow rates and change the sprinkler nozzle size accordingly.
"If you’re using a flow meter, the flow should also be monitored regularly,” Dunbar said. “Leaks, missing sprinklers, work out sprinkler orifices or regulators can cause the flow rate to go up, while plugged nozzles can cause the flow rate to decrease.”
With FieldNET® technology, you can monitor pressure and flow 24/7 via a smartphone, tablet or computer.
“It’s so easy with FieldNET,” said Albert Maurin, sales and tactical marketing manager at Lindsay Corporation. “You can keep an eye on the system from virtually anywhere, and it sends text message or email alerts if there are potential problems. That means fewer trips to the field, less wear and tear on your vehicles and more time to focus on other areas of your operation.”
The first post in our Smart Irrigation Month series is available at: