Is it time to get out of the trenches?

April 21, 2016

With Chad Schneider

Irrigating “in the trenches” with furrow irrigation actually requires you to do things that reduce water efficiency. You’re tilling the soil and reducing residue, both of which accelerate soil moisture loss. And when your top layer of soil is saturated through irrigation, you lose the residual benefits of any rain that does come due to runoff.

Switching from furrow irrigation to pivot or subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) saves labor, water and energy costs. You can save anywhere from one to three trips across the field—and you improve water efficiency. In other words, these irrigation systems allow you to farm differently.

Telemetry is becoming standard equipment on most pivot systems. This technology allows you to monitor your pivots remotely. Instead of driving out to check each and every pivot once or twice a day, you are automatically alerted on your mobile device when one of them is not operating properly. Customers who used to have difficulty managing ten to fifteen pivots are now able to monitor two to three times that number, thanks to telemetry.

Many customers have made the leap from furrow irrigation right into subsurface drip irrigation. SDI is perfect for fields that are odd-shaped, have significant elevation challenges, or are otherwise unsuitable for a pivot system. With SDI, you don’t have to give up on the eight acres of cropland in each pivot corner; you can irrigate the entire field.

SDI puts water two to three inches under the soil surface, right where the roots need it. SDI virtually eliminates erosion, runoff and evaporation. Additionally, when you do get rain, that top two to three inches of soil is ready to absorb and store that precious moisture instead of it running off.

Many of you have a back-up tractor you can rely on if your primary equipment breaks down. But that’s not the case with your irrigation system. That’s why 21st Century Water has a fleet of service trucks ready to respond when you need to get your system back up and running. We’re on call during irrigation season, because we know the critical importance of providing your crop with the right amount of water at the right time.

When you’re ready to get out of the trenches and leave intensive furrow irrigation behind, call 21st Century Water. We have the technology, irrigation systems, expertise and service to help you improve your efficiency in a number of important ways.