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.