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Precision water system helps cuts irrigation water waste

Growers who want to use variable-rate control on their centre-pivot irrigators, but are constrained by pumping equipment limitations, will welcome new pressure-regulating technology that overcomes this problem.

Variable-rate irrigation allows farmers to more accurately match water applications to crop requirements based on soil and other data, resulting in more efficient use of water resources and optimal crop watering.

However, some farmers are missing out on these benefits. Their system is unable to cope with the pressure. Trimble Agriculture says the new pressure-regulating feature of its Irrigate-IQ Optimal Flow VRI system enables centre-pivot irrigators without variable-frequency drive or variable-speed drive to apply water to crops using rate application maps without overpressurising the system and risking damage to equipment.

Different types of irrigation mapping highlighting the full spatial control (right-hand image) provided by Trimble Irrigate-IQ Optimal Flow VRI using individually-regulated nozzles to provide greater accuracy than the other options.

Different types of irrigation mapping highlighting the full spatial control (right-hand image) provided by Trimble Irrigate-IQ Optimal Flow VRI using individually-regulated nozzles to provide greater accuracy than the other options.

Regulate water pressure

The control system monitors and regulates water pressure across the irrigator, so growers can get the benefits of variable-rate irrigation knowing the system will operate within safe pressure ranges.

See also: Smart fertiliser solution for Great Lake water problem

Its system can be used with irrigators from all major manufacturers, says Trimble, optimising water use by minimising over- and underwatering as well as run-off. It also cuts energy costs in the process. The flow rate from each nozzle is controlled individually according to the irrigation plan and location, and the system is both scalable and adaptable to a range of OEM control panels, from basic to smart.

A field mapped using Trimble Irrigate-IQ Optimal Flow VRI showing the extent of application variability.

A field mapped using Trimble Irrigate-IQ Optimal Flow VRI showing the extent of application variability.

Trimble VRI solution

In line with an agreement reached earlier this year, Trimble’s Irrigate-IQ Optimal Flow VRI solution is available as original equipment on Valley Irrigation centre-pivot and corner sprinkler sequencing products.

It is also available from Valley Irrigation dealers around the world and Trimble’s own Vantage resellers. Existing users of the regular Irrigate-IQ Optimal Flow solution can upgrade to the VRI versions for free.

See also: Trimble buys pioneering German farm tech manufacturer