Water application is at the heart of what you do. In order to do this as well as possible, sprinkler packages need to be properly designed and maintained to a high degree of accuracy. Generally, sprinkler packages should be replaced at least every 10,000 hours of operation.
Regularly check for broken or worn sprinkler components and replace them as necessary. Also, consider running a new sprinkler design that could maximize uniformity and application efficiency, and help alleviate application issues such as runoff, ponding and soil sealing. Here are 8 tips to accurately check your center pivot sprinklers.
1. Check your sprinkler chart.
Verify that all sprinkler components match the sprinkler chart and are in the correct location on your center pivot.
2. Inspect for broken sprinklers.
While your center pivot is running with water, inspect all sprinklers and look for plugged or broken sprinklers, uniform water patterns, and leaking sprinklers or pressure regulators.
3. Measure your center pivot's water pressure.
Verify that your machine's water pressure matches your sprinkler chart design by using an accurate pressure gauge.
4. Use a sprinkler pressure regulator.
Place your pressure gauge just before the last pressure regulator at the end of your center pivot to verify that the end pressure is sufficient to operate the sprinkler pressure regulators.
5. Check your end gun and booster pump.
Make sure your end gun and booster pump turn on and off correctly.
6. Run a percent time report.
Verify that your machine speed matches the speed in the percent timer report.
7. Pay extra careful attention when using variable rate irrigation (VRI).
It is even more important to check the health of your sprinkler package when using VRI. Without a properly working sprinkler package, you may not get the full benefits VRI can provide.
8. Call your local dealer.
If you're just not sure where to start to make sure your sprinkler package is ready for the next growing season, give your local dealer a call.
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