Tips to quickly spot irrigation system problems for your Agriculture
When you’re working in agriculture it's important to get your water levels right...
When you’re working in agriculture it’s important to get your water levels right. Nature can be a fickle mistress. One moment your crops are saturated and you’re looking to get dewatering pumps which will move the water away from your crops.
The next moment the rain has stopped, the land is dry and you need to keep them watered; or lose all of them!
This is why it is so important to monitor and quickly spot any issues with your irrigation systems. Here are the main problems you should be looking for:
You should visually inspect your sprinkler system at least once a month. A broken sprinkler head is easy to spot and can save you a lot of money.
If the sprinkler is broken then the water will just pour out. You won’t be watering your crops but you will be spending thousands of gallons of water down the drain; resulting in a massive repair bill.
Misting In Use
It is also worth looking at the spray that is coming from your sprinklers. Misting instead of spraying water across the plants means that your water pressure is too high.
Not only is this ineffective at watering your plants it will also place an additional strain on your irrigation system; potentially resulting in blown valves and other issues.
Just buy a pressure reducing valve and fit it before the sprinkler system.
System On In The Rain
If your irrigation system comes on regardless of the weather or in the rain despite having a sensor then you’re overwatering the plants and wasting water; which costs you money.
A new sensor should cost you less than $200 and will work wirelessly. If it’s raining it simply tells your controller not to run the water.
Water Run Off
It is vital that you look round the edges of the area you’re irrigating. If you find that the water is running away from your plants then you are overwatering; probably because the water is hitting the ground too fast for the soil to absorb it.
The best solution is to adjust your watering cycle. More frequent short bursts will help to encourage water take up by the soil and reduce wastage.
Age Of System
It is a good idea to check the age of your irrigation system even if it all seems to be working perfectly.
Older controllers do not offer the range of functions that new ones do. You could save a considerable amount of water by upgrading your controller to one that has smart technology included.
It is possible that you have large shrubs growing which are actually blocking the water for the other plants. To resolve this issue you’ll need to convert your sprinkler to a drip system. This will allow you to target specific plants and leave the shrub as it is.
Getting your irrigation system right does take a little trial and error. But, once you establish the right schedule you will be able to focus on the plants you are growing without wasting money.