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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: New Sprinkler Technologies to Increase Irrigation Application Efficiency

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Project Number: 5368-13000-008-01
Project Type: Contract

Start Date: Sep 01, 2008
End Date: Aug 31, 2013

Objective:
1. To develop guidelines for center pivot sprinkler selection specific to particular soil types for minimizing soil erosion and runoff. 2. To develop center pivot management methodologies for minimizing soil erosion and runoff. 3. To develop new commercial sprinkler products designed to improve overall soil infiltration characteristics.

Approach:
A center pivot simulator consisting of a 4-wheel commercial irrigation boom 154 ft in length will be towed at a constant speed over 3.3 feet (1 m) wide by 6.6 feet (2 m) long field plots on a 5% slope arranged in a 4 row by 4 column arrangement. The statistical design for evaluating treatment differences will be a Latin Square design. Multiple soil types will be evaluated by placing selected soils in the field plots. Irrigation treatments to be evaluated include sprinkler type, peak application rate, application depth, sprinkler operating pressure, drop size distribution and possibly other sprinkler operating characteristics such as drop size distribution, etc. The metrics for evaluating treatment effects include measured runoff volume, measured soil loss, measured application rate profile, and calculated effective infiltration rate. The database developed from evaluation of these sprinkler characteristics will be used to develop guidelines for center pivot sprinkler selection and management to minimize runoff and erosion for a specific soil type. This information will also be used to develop center pivot sprinklers specifically designed to minimize runoff and erosion for a specific soil type.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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