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Natasha Post, Author
Water irrigation is an integral component of farming. Irrigation practices allow farmers to grow more crops and pastures by providing regular access to water. The stress of low water levels can dramatically affect crop quality, so irrigation helps provide better quality crops. Using wastewater irrigation practices are also more environmentally friendly, offer a high nutrient content, and can also increase the value of property since irrigated land can support larger crops and animal production. Keep reading for more information and how to transport water irrigation equipment!
Water Irrigation Equipment Used in the U.S.
Water irrigation systems are used both on a small-scale in U.S. yards and on a commercial or industrial scale at business properties. Individual plants and smaller areas benefit from drip irrigation or micro jet systems, while farms may benefit from massive center pivot driven systems. Often-used components in irrigation can include:
- Thinwall driplines
- Heavywall driplines
- Pipes and tubing
- Water tanks and reservoirs
- Bulk hoses
- Pumps and sump pumps
- Water meters
- Impact sprinklers
- Wobble head sprinklers
- Sprinkler stands
Irrigation Methods for Crop Farmers
Irrigation is the term for the controlled application of water through various man-made systems that supply water requirements in areas that do not receive enough rainfall. Many different irrigation methods can be used to make sure crops receive their water requirements, including:
- Center pivot.
Center pivot irrigation is achieved through a rotating sprinkler pipe or boom that supplies water to nozzles and sprinkler heads from the center of the field across its radius. Water is delivered through the center or the pivot point that is supported above crops by fixed towers. These systems can be powered by pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical, or electrical power to supply water at uniform, angular speeds in fixed, circular paths. Center pivot irrigation units are typically between 1,250 ft. and 1,300 ft. in length and designed to irrigate up to 130 acres at a time.
- Drip irrigation.
Drip irrigation applies water directly to the root zone of plants through the use of equipment such as emitters, perforated pipes, and porous tubing. In stark contrast to center pivot systems, drip irrigation is a low-pressure system that has the applicators either on the surface or just below.
- Flooding and surge flooding.
As the name suggests, flood irrigation involves creating a ponded surface area. Compared to other methods, it’s a low-tech irrigation technique. It would have been used by early humans to irrigate crops and is still in use today. Water can be pumped or brought to the fields and then allowed to flow naturally among all crops. In surge flooding, water is released onto fields at arranged intervals to help prevent unwanted runoff. Runoff can be captured in nearby ponds and then pumped back up to the front of the field to be reused during the next flood cycle. Farmers can also use the leveling of fields to improve water coverage.
Transporting Water Irrigation Equipment
One of the largest pieces of irrigation equipment that may need to be transported is the water tank. Water tanks can be constructed from steel, concrete, fiberglass, and plastic. All water tanks require the right equipment to haul it to its next destination safely.
The type of vehicle is crucial. Even polyethylene and plastic water tanks are bulky in size and require an appropriately sized trailer, despite being lightweight compared to other water tanks. Vertical water tanks with up to 6,000 ltr capacity may be transported on smaller trucks, but large 15,000 ltr to 20,000 ltr tanks will need a large truck for transport. Flatbed trailer transport is the most common for water irrigation equipment.
Tanks will need to be carefully lifted onto the trailer. Smaller, circular tanks could be rolled up a ramp; however, the loading of large tanks is likely to need additional machinery. It’s best to transport tanks on their side when they’re loaded onto a trailer as a tall, vertically stored tank will create a lot of wind resistance if they protrude above the cab’s roof. Tanks will need to be secured with ropes, tie-downs, or nets. All knots should be checked, and loose rope tucked away before leaving the site.
Similarly, irrigation pumps and generators can be loaded onto flatbed trailers and secured with rope or straps at tie-down points.