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Use less water and save energy with Pivots and Lateral Irrigators!

Why is centre pivot irrigation a better investment?

Centre pivot irrigation systems are the leading method of crop irrigation in many agricultural zones across the world. Field proven centre pivot systems are steadily replacing, traditional flood and subsurface drip irrigation. A great number of conversions are being made to offset farm labour shortages, all the while centre pivots are also highly effective with up to 95% efficiency in terms of application uniformity.

Centre Pivot and Drip Irrigation Comparison

Applying the correct amount of water at the right time is crucial to achieving a good yield, but it's also important to apply it uniformly and at precisely the right amount.

centerPivotComparing Drip and Pivots? There Is No Comparison!

Initial Cost

  • Drip systems cost 20% to 100% more than pivots.

Maintenance Cost

  • The normal, annual cost to maintain a drip system is about 7-10% of the initial investment.
  • On a centre pivot used 2,000 hours per year, the annual maintenance cost is about 1-2% of the original purchase price.

Management

  • The 50,000 emitters on a 50-hectare drip system require considerably more dedicated management than centre pivots. And that doesn't even account for the filter, drip lines, system controls, and higher-pressure pump sets.
  • The 150 sprinklers on a 50-hectare centre pivot installation are easily maintained with a convenient system control.

Design

  • The performance of a subsurface drip system is highly dependent on the skill and knowledge of the designer. Pivot installations are simple to design.

Installation

  • Installing a drip system is difficult. You must choose tape depth carefully for compatibility with cultivation practices to ensure the drip tape isn’t damaged.
  • Pivot installation is an easy and standardised process.

Germination

  • Subsurface drip systems can’t stimulate seed germination if the drip tape is placed below the root zone.
  • Sprinkler heads on a pivot apply water similar to the effect you get from rain, causing seeds to germinate. In fact, pivots can easily be fitted with a dual sprinkler package — one for germination and one for irrigation. Whereas some drip irrigators use sprinklers just for germination.

Plugging and Leaking

  • With a drip system, acid must be applied, and the drip line periodically chlorinated to dissolve mineral concentration that can plug emitters. Herbicides also need to be sprayed in order to kill roots that could wrap themselves around water lines.
  • The above ground sprinklers on a pivot are visible at all times, so plugging and leaking aren’t a problem. The average nozzle on a pivot is 16 times larger than a drip emitter.

Filter Maintenance

  • Drip system filters must constantly be monitored, then flushed or changed when necessary to prevent system failure.
  • Typically filtering is not required when using a pivot or linear.

Life Span

  • A typical drip system has a life span of approximately 10 years.
  • A typical Valley pivot has a life span of 20-plus years.

Salt Build-Up

  • Drip irrigation causes salt to accumulate at the dividing line between the irrigated zone and the non-irrigated zone in the soil, causing the soil to become salinized over time. Eventually a sprinkler system will have to flush the accumulated salt below the crop root zone for the field to remain fertile.
  • Above ground sprinklers distribute water evenly over the surface, which irrigates the crop and leaches the salts in the soil to below the root zone.

Pests

  • Rats, crickets, corn borers, and worms can attack vulnerable drip tape and cause leaks. You must dedicate a lot of time and money to combat these pests.
  • Pests cannot easily damage the steel structure and spray nozzles of a centre pivot.

Resale

  • Drip tape needs to be frequently replaced, which is 20-25% of the total cost of a drip system. And once removed, it has no resale value whatsoever. In fact, removing the tape costs money.
  • Even after 15 years, a Valley pivot still holds a resale value of 50% of the initial purchase price.

Environmental Impact

  • Typical drip tape lasts 5 years. After that, many drip irrigators have to contact hazardous material experts for proper disposal of the used tape.
  • Valley equipment is made of 100% recyclable steel, making it a cost-saving, efficient and long-lasting solution.

Fully Automated

  • State-of-the-art controls for precise irrigation management and scheduling
  • Accurate water, chemical and fertiliser usage reports
  • Remote control and monitoring capability via internet and smart phone

Efficient

  • 90-95% efficiency in varied climates and all soils
  • Even water distribution
  • Reduced deep percolation and runoff of chemicals
  • Wind has little effect on uniformity of drops
  • Irrigates slopes up to 30°
  • No salt builds up
  • Low per acre investment cost

Reliable

  • 20+ year operation with regular maintenance
  • High-quality components

Eco-friendly

  • 95% recyclable components
  • Simple removal from fields
  • Resale capability