RSS

Helpful tips and tricks with Agricultural Irrigation

7 Irrigation Tips Guaranteed to Make Your Farm Expansion Easier

WP Law - Thursday, March 22, 2018
irrigation-farm-expansion

Expanding a farming operation often involves more than just planting more acres. Many farmers know they will need to improve and expand their current irrigation systems to account for the increased acreage. There is a lot to consider when updating or expanding an irrigation system. Here are several things that need to be considered.

  • There is no universal answer for the best irrigation system to install. This decision usually comes down to the cost per acre to install and operate the system and the monetary value of the crop being grown. High value crops such as vegetable and orchard crops are usually irrigated using drip or micro irrigation. In addition to high uniformity and high efficiency, another plus is that the irrigation will not interfere with other field operations such as cultivating, spraying and harvesting.
  • It is easier to increase energy efficiency to reduce costs and waste than in the past. Variable frequency drives (VFD's) can greatly improve the performance and efficiency of electric irrigation pumps. Ask an expert for help in making the right choice for your farm.
  • Buried pipelines cost more to install, but they rarely leak when properly installed and maintained. Above ground pipelines are less expensive to install, but they are more susceptible to damage from equipment and rodents causing multiple leaks. In some cases up to 30% of the water is wasted before it reaches the crops. Keep this in mind when deciding which system you need.
  • Don't forget to speak with your electric company about different charges that probably exist for electrical usage during off-peak hours. Keep in mind that not all crops thrive with off-peak watering.

If you need help with your irrigation or waste distribution systems, contact W.P. Law, Inc. for help with these and many other services. Contact us for more information and help.

The Definitive Checklist for Healthy Crops This Spring

WP Law - Thursday, March 15, 2018
healthy-crops-this-spring

Farmers and home gardeners share many of the same tasks when it comes to planting their crops. Although there is a difference in scale and because of that, practices. Here is a look at some of the things that successful farmers know that home gardeners can apply to their summer gardens.

Things All Producers of Crops Can Do in the Spring to Increase Production

1. Prepare the soil prior to planting. This begins with a soil test. It is important to know what nutrients need to added to the soil for it to produce the optimum yield for the crop you are growing. In addition to adding nutrients, the soil needs to be tilled to reduce weeds and improve water infiltration and aeration. In some cases deep tillage is required to break up hard pan.

2. Understand your crop's normal cycles. By understanding what your crop is supposed to do and when will help you identify potential problems early. Things such as how long after planting should you expect the seeds to germinate and how long after germination should you expect flowering are good to know. Also knowing the number of days it takes to produce a crop can help you schedule planting dates.

3. Know the nutrient and water requirements at different stages of growth. This can help you adjust fertilizer and irrigation schedules. Also know if you crop is susceptible to insects or disease a various stages of growth. This can help you develop a spray program to minimize disease and insect damage.

4. Keep in mind that you will improve your harvest if you alternate how you do things from year to year. Farmers learned many years ago the importance of crop rotation. This same principle applies to home gardeners as well, just on a smaller scale. For the home gardener, simply plant your crops in different places in your garden each year.

Contact W.P. Law, Inc. for Help with Your Crop

If you need help with your crops, contact W.P. Law, Inc. for help with irrigation, chemicals, frost protection, and many other services to keep your fields or gardens growing and healthy. Whether you have thousands of acres or orchards, vineyards, and vegetable or a backyard garden, we can help improve your harvest. Contact us for more information and help.

The Art of Irrigating Your Orchard this Spring

WP Law - Thursday, February 15, 2018
Crop Irrigation

Adequate irrigation is essential for the healthy development of the trees and fruit in any orchard.

But care is needed because relatively small changes in irrigation patterns can lead to significant variations in the amount and quality of fruit produced.

A number of variable factors can make it difficult to gauge just how much irrigation trees are likely to need, particularly at the beginning of the annual growing season each spring.

The Danger of Excessive Irrigation

Trees require less water than many people assume during this time of year, and the appearance of dryness on the top of the surrounding soil, or in surface plants and grass, is not necessarily an accurate indication of moisture levels at tree root depth.

So it is easy to over-water at this time, which can retard the growth of the trees developing feeder roots or even lead to them rotting. It may also leach vital nutrients from the soil.

The Three Key Metrics You Need to Know

There are three measurements of which you need to be aware to ensure that your trees get enough, but not too much, water --

  • the amount of water your system is delivering
  • the amount of that moisture which is retained by the soil
  • the rate at which the trees are using water

The water delivered by your system should be relatively simple to control. But the amount of moisture retained in the ground may vary considerably; sandy and rocky soils absorbing much less than heavier loams and clays.

The rate of water usage by trees depends mainly on their size and can be roughly calculated according to height, width and amount of leaf cover.

But water uptake also varies according to regional and climatic differences in hours of daylight and sunshine, temperature, humidity and wind.

Trees also use water more slowly in spring than in the later growing months. As a rule of thumb, an amount of water which lasts a tree for 14 days in April will last for six days in May and just three in July.

Accurate Moisture Measurement

There are a variety of moisture sensors available on the market today. Accurate moisture measurement is critical to determining the best irrigation schedule for your orchard crops. By knowing what the moisture level in the soil actually is, you can adjust your irrigation schedule to have the right amount of water available to the tree when it is needed the most.

Contact Us

At W P Law Inc we've been helping South Carolina farmers and orchard owners to understand and resolve irrigation issues on properties of all types and sizes since 1970.

Stop by one of our locations any time, click here to drop us an e-mail or call 800-476-4515 toll free and we'll be glad to talk with you.

3 Reasons to Consider a Custom Fabricated Pump Station

WP Law - Thursday, January 18, 2018
Crop Irrigation

Pump applications will always vary depending on where the pump systems are to be used, material to be pumped, and type of project at hand. If you are about to undertake a certain project and are not sure whether to use standard pump systems or custom fabricated pump systems, go through these few reasons why the latter is a better option:

1. Fits your specific operation perfectly

One of the greatest benefits of customization in any industry is the development/creation of systems that meet the specifications of the owner. With a custom fabricated pump station, your pumping system will be tailor made to perform operations that are specifically targeted to your project’s goals. All you need is to consult a professional and experienced pump fabrication expert to develop a pump station for you according to your specifications.

2. Saves you money in the long-run

A custom fabricated pump station leaves room for expansion in case your operations grow in the future. This saves you money in the long-run as upgrading the system will be easy and swift. It also saves you money by ensuring that your operations are streamlined from the word go.

3. Maintenance on such systems is easy

It’s easy to maintain a custom fabricated pump station especially when it’s the fabricator or installer offering the required routine maintenance services. The fabricator understands the system inside out, making it easy for them to identify where an emergency problem is and how to solve it fast. Most manufacturers also offer maintenance services at a reduced price for a certain period to guarantee the quality of their work.

A custom fabricated pump station is definitely the better option in many projects. However, it’s always smart to consider professional advice on the best option depending on the type of project at hand.

2 Reasons Why Traveler Irrigation Systems Are Your Secret Weapon  

WP Law - Thursday, January 11, 2018
Crop Irrigation

There are many different types of irrigation systems, each intended for different purposes. One popular type is the traveler irrigation system, which utilizes a large sprinkler mounted to a cart with wheels. This sprinkler is commonly referred to as a "big gun." The sprinkler sprays water in a radius of up to 250 feet. The sprinkler must be moved to irrigate the field. Here are two reasons why traveler irrigation systems are your secret weapon.

1. Traveler Irrigation Systems Get the Job Done Fast

The main advantage of traveler irrigation systems is that they can get the job done quickly and efficiently. The sprinkler of a traveler irrigation system typically can spray water in a radius of 80 feet to 250 feet. This makes the traveler irrigation system ideal for fields that are very large and need to be irrigated frequently.

2. Traveler Irrigation Systems Are Versatile

Another reason traveler irrigation systems may be your secret weapon is that these systems are very versatile. If you own a property that is rectangular in shape, such as an athletic field, traveling irrigators are a great option. Traveler irrigation systems can also be ideal if you need to apply a small amount of water in a relatively short period of time. Depending on the type of traveler irrigation system, they can be relatively easy to shift around a property, making them ideal for properties that are oddly shaped.

If you need an effective and versatile irrigation system, you should consider a traveler irrigation system. For more information about the many advantages of traveler irrigation systems, don't hesitate to contact us here at WP Law.

More Reasons to Irrigate Your Lawn During the Winter

WP Law - Thursday, January 04, 2018
Crop Irrigation

Just like any other season when precipitation is sufficient, whether it’s in the form of rain, snow or ice, dormant warm season grasses will continue root growth and water and nutrient uptake although at a reduced rate caused by slowed metabolic activity. Cool season lawns and winter plantings of annuals to provide color have to have sufficient levels of moisture because they are actively growing. How do we accommodate these needs while preventing problems such as winterkill in turf or dead pansies due to lack of water?

Drought conditions: It is not uncommon to have long stretches of time between rain events during the winter months. After several weeks have passed without rain, applying water once a week will be enough to keep your sod hydrated until natural precipitation occurs. If using an irrigation system be sure the watering cycle starts later in the day to prevent dangerous ice buildup on hard surfaces such as roads and walkways.

Extreme cold fronts: During the winter months it is not uncommon to have cold, dry, and windy fronts move through. This, accompanied by rapid temperature drops during the day (or night) will cause the bark layer of shrubs and trees to split in effect girdling the plant. The same thing happens to the dormant turf. The soil will give up its moisture quickly in these conditions causing the grass to become “freeze dried.” The water that is in the grass plant at the cellular level freezes and expands destroying the tissues. This causes winterkill which shows up as what looks like large burned patches in the lawn during spring green up. Paying close attention to weather reports and irrigating before the arrival of the front, may help prevent or decrease the amount of winterkill observed later.

Plants that provide color: Annuals planted to provide color in the landscape this time of year are actively growing and require moisture. Isolating these areas of color with drip irrigation will apply water as needed for growing healthy plants while preventing over watering nearby dormant turf.

4 Ways a Drip Irrigation System Can Help You and Your Crops  

WP Law - Thursday, November 16, 2017
Crop Irrigation

Fall can bring extreme temperatures, with blazing heat one day and chilly mornings on other days. This can be difficult on crops, especially those with shallow roots. Fall is prime season for plants to establish roots. The best way to promote root growth is with a good irrigation system.

Why Use a Drip Irrigation System in the Fall?

  • Promote root growth: Especially with new plants such as winter vegetables and cover crops, root growth is essential for surviving the winter's cold. Use the drip irrigation system to boost your crop for the fall.
  • Save water: In the fall you don't have to worry as much about water evaporation. With regular intervals of watering, you can maximize water usage on your land, keeping your crop growing well into the cold season.
  • Adjust to the changing weather: On cooler days you can use less water and use more water on warmer days. Use a little mulch to help the water stay in the soil so you can have more time between water applications.
  • Save money: When you use less water in the fall, not only are you conserving an important natural resource, but you are also saving on your water bill and increasing your overall profits.

A drip irrigation system can save you time and money. If you would like to know more how you can improve the water usage on your farm or small-scale garden, call us today.

3 Savvy Ways to Conserve Water With an Agricultural Irrigation System

Marketing W. P. Law, Inc. - Thursday, October 19, 2017
Agricultural-Irrigation-and-Crops

Technology in irrigation is now helping farmers achieve more in the area of water conservation.

Here are 3 savvy ways to conserve water with an agricultural irrigation system.

Use of Sensors

The use of soil moisture sensors and local weather monitoring stations allow farmers to obtain real time data on plant growing conditions. This information allows farmers to implement irrigation scheduling programs that allow them to apply precisely the right amount of water at the right time to provide ideal growing conditions for their crop. As a result, farmers have realized a reduction in the consumption of water and fertilizer through this concept.

Precision Irrigation

Precision irrigation involves placing the water closer to the plant’s root zone. Using methods such as low pressure drops on center pivots or drip/micro irrigation are examples of this technology. Precision irrigation improves system efficiency by reducing water losses from wind drift and evaporation. There are additional benefits with drip irrigation such as reduced disease problems.

Irrigation Scheduling

Irrigation scheduling is the process of determining the best time to run an irrigation system and the duration. Several factors need to be considered when determining the best irrigation schedule. Most notably is the weekly water requirement of the crop that you are growing. The water requirement can change as the crop maturity changes. Crops that are in the early developmental stage typically do not require as much water as crops that are in the fruit production stage. Another factor to consider when developing an irrigation schedule is the current weather conditions. Has it rained recently or has soil moisture been depleted by a long dry spell? Other factors such as soil type and slope should also be considered. An effective irrigation schedule will take into account all of these factors and allow the farmer to determine how much water to apply and when to make the application.


For additional information about agricultural irrigation contact the experts at W.P. Law today. 

3 Benefits of Custom Fabrication  

WP Law - Thursday, September 28, 2017
Duo Pro dual-contained piping system

Every agricultural and landscaping terrain has its own unique characteristics. Drainage, varying terrain, access to water sources, distribution to each field, and providing a means to regulate and measure the flow can provide challenges which off-the-shelf solutions are not available. Here are three benefits of custom fabricated solutions to bring water wherever it is needed:

1. Innovative design solutions for equipment and components, whether you need to conserve water or have a unique landscape. Our designers use AutoCAD and other engineering technologies to design a system that gets water where you need it.

2. Advanced fabricating, assembly, and finishing of equipment specifically designed to maximize your irrigation efforts and help your landscape grow. The right irrigation equipment is specifically designed to enhance your soil conditions, grading and location.

3. Specialty welding of unusual piping configurations or to enhance current equipment. Custom irrigation systems for managed landscapes recognizes the fact that each landscape has different features from environmental conditions to water pressure and available flow. A customized solution for hard to irrigate landscapes often require one-of-a-kind solutions.

Spring Maintenance: Is it Time to Upgrade Your Irrigation System?

Marketing W. P. Law, Inc. - Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Duo Pro dual-contained piping system

Irrigation is essential for crop or garden growth, but if performed incorrectly, it does more harm than good. Thus make sure to avoid common irrigation blunders, such as:

One of the most common drip irrigation mistakes is to use one emitter per plant. Though not necessarily a problem for small plants, this can be fatal to large ones. Not only do multiple emitters provide more water, but they ensure that if one emitter gets clogged, the others will still work.

Incomplete Coverage

Home and business owners looking to save money on rotor or spray irrigation may try to space the nozzles as far apart as possible, but this will create dry gaps. Instead, space the sprinkler heads at 50% of their diameter of throw. This spacing gives you head to head coverage insuring that you eliminate those dry spots.

Pressure Problems

Make sure that the water pressure is high enough for your system to work effectively. Although most irrigation systems can work with pressure as low as 20 PSI, the sprinkler heads will be operating at their minimum acceptable performance. Keep the pressure above the minimum level so that the system can work under all conditions.

Timing Troubles

Running your irrigation system during the day causes the water to evaporate before it soaks in, while nighttime irrigation encourages the growth of mold. Instead, run it during early dawn.
Contact W. P. Law today to learn more about irrigation and other water maintenance topics in South Carolina.


Find A Location Near You!

MAIN OFFICE - LEXINGTON

303 Riverchase Way
Lexington, SC 29072

Phone 803-461 -0599
Toll-Free 800-476-4515
Fax 803-461 -0598
Contact Us

 

MONDAY - FRIDAY
8:00am - 5:00pm

 

Summer Hours:

Effective March 10, 2018
thru August 25, 2018

SATURDAY
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Counter Service Only

 

Need Directions?

CHARLESTON

3636 Belvedere Rd.
John's Island, SC 29455

Phone 843-559-3945
Fax 843-559-2740
Contact Us

 

MONDAY - FRIDAY ONLY
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

 

Need Directions?

GREENVILLE

1330 Grove Rd.
Greenville, SC 29605

Phone 864-295-3810
800-660-7569
Fax 864-295-6990
Contact Us

 

MONDAY - FRIDAY
8:00am - 5:00pm

 

Need Directions?

GREER

2400 Highway 101 S.
Greer, SC 29651

Phone 864-879-1045
877-835-0714
Fax 864-879-1 046
Contact Us

 

MONDAY - FRIDAY
7:30am - 5:00pm

 

Need Directions?