Improving Irrigation Efficiency is Key to Productive Farming

At Fiander Moor Dairy Farm in Mil-Lel, Mount Gambier, the longevity of their centre-pivot irrigation system became both a testament to reliability and a challenge for optimal performance. With a system in place for approximately 15 years, the aging sprinkler components were causing significant water and production losses. Recognising the importance of maintaining irrigation efficiency, Nelson Irrigation partnered with Water Dynamics Mt Gambier to conduct a performance review and upgrade.

Hydrostatically powered, T-L systems – designed to deliver continuous movement

Identifying Inefficiencies through a Catch Can Test

The first step in the evaluation process was to conduct a Catch Can Test, measuring water depth every two meters along the pivot. Results were revealing, with the existing 15-year-old sprinkler pack showcasing a water distribution uniformity of 53%, far below the target of 85%. This inconsistency led to over and under-watering, particularly at the end of the pivot, negatively impacting crop growth and reducing the overall production.

Upgrading to Nelson Irrigation 3030 Series Rotators

The solution was to replace the existing worn-out sprinkler technology with the Nelson Irrigation 3030 series Rotators, known for their industry-leading performance. The Rotator® boasts the widest throw-on drops and highest uniformity in its class, making it an elite solution for minimising pasture losses.

A Significant Improvement in Water Distribution Uniformity

After the upgrade, a repeat of the Catch Can Test showcased a remarkable 52% increase in water distribution uniformity. This ensured the pastures no longer experienced a mix of over and under-watering, resulting in a return to productive crop yields. The financial investment in replacing the sprinklers proved to be a prudent decision, with many growers, including Fiander Moor Dairy Farm, recovering the costs within the first year and preventing losses in future seasons.

Key Benefits of Nelson Irrigation 3030 Series Rotators

  • 3NV flushable nozzle for easy maintenance and control.
  • Dual nozzle clips for adjusting flow rates, catering to different crop phases.
  • Good droplet size and high wind resistance, reducing runoff, drift, and evaporative loss.
  • Fewer sprinklers are required along the pivot, leading to cost savings.
  • Ensuring Long-Term System Performance

Results and Benefits

Water Dynamics Mt Gambier Manager, Sam Work, emphasises the importance of regular performance evaluations for irrigation systems and all irrigation, even the most robust, low-maintenance pivot sprinkler systems, like the one at Fiander Moor Dairy Farm. The benefits from periodic assessments every four to five years help to optimise system performance, ensuring consistency.

In conclusion, the upgrade to Nelson Irrigation 3030 series Rotators not only revitalized Fiander Moor Dairy Farm’s irrigation system but also serves as a testament to the broader need for regular evaluations and modernization in agricultural practices. Investing in irrigation efficiency not only enhances crop yields but also proves to be a financially sound decision for the long-term success of farming operations.

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