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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Ensuring equal opportunity sprinkler irrigation

item Lamm, Freddie
item Howell, Terry
item Bordovsky, James

Submitted to: Irrigation Associations Exposition and Technical Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2007
Publication Date: 12/9/2007
Citation: Lamm, F.R., Howell, T.A., Bordovsky, J.P. 2007. Ensuring equal opportunity sprinkler irrigation. In: Proceedings of the 28th Annual International Irrigation Show, December 9-11, 2007, San Diego, California. p 147-153. 2007 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Irrigation design principles imply that every plant should have equal access to the applied water to meet the crop water requirement and ensuring a good crop yield. This paper addresses cases where the center pivot sprinkler applications either by design, selection of products, improper installation, or mismanagement or farming practices unsuited for the sprinkler application technology might cause uneven crop access to the applied water. When the irrigations are near the ground, the application can be interfered by the crop stalks. Orientation and applicator symmetry with respect to the system travel direction and row orientation are often critical to achieving even applications. Both producers and the irrigation industry (manufacturers, equipment distributors, and installers) must share the responsibility to ensure even irrigation applications to meet the crop water demand that results in good crop yields.

Technical Abstract: Equal opportunity for plants to sprinkler irrigation water must be carefully considered by crop producers, irrigation consultants, and the industry that supplies the irrigation equipment. Equal opportunity can be negated by improper marketing, design, and installation, as well as through improper farming operations and irrigation mismanagement. These issues take on an enlarged significance when the irrigation is applied within or near the crop canopy. Key issues that must be addressed to ensure equal opportunity sprinkler irrigation are irrigation application symmetry, spatial orientation of sprinkler travel with respect to crop rows, and the seasonal longevity of the sprinkler pattern distortion. There are both producer and industry rules in providing equal opportunity.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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