KEEPING YOUR IRRIGATION SYSTEM IN GOOD CONDITION
By Albert Makendenge
Heading into this winter when water supplements are especially going to be needed, here are some tips and tricks to keep your irrigation system in perfect condition. Applying these will not only help in preventing water waste but will also go a long way in improving and maintaining the required all year round production and productivity on the farm.
- Regular and frequent inspection – Heads, nozzles, valves, pipes, controllers and canals should be checked from time to time for wear and tear as well as positioning. Quickly identifying and replacing/adjusting those components that are damaged or out of position will keep water consumption low and overall costs down.
- Staying up to date – Irrigation manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve their products and it is very important that farmers are aware of any upgrades or newer irrigation technology. Technology that is more efficient and keeps water costs down.
- Adapting to the seasons – The system’s schedule should change as the seasons change. Each season comes with different temperatures and by adjusting the irrigation system to these seasonal changes, the farmer can ensure that there overworking the system and overwatering as well and underutilizing it and under watering.
- Conducting a yearly audit – While regular routine maintenance keeps the irrigation system in quality working condition year round, an irrigation audit is a perfect time to test the overall effectiveness to the system. This involves a very deep and detailed examination/inspection of the water management system to find out if there are better ways to conserve water and reduce the water bill.
- Checking water pressure – It should become a habit for the farmer to check water pressure settings before turning on the irrigation system each and every time to make sure that it is within acceptable limits.
In the end, an irrigation system is a tool that requires constant and consistent maintenance to run at its best. As the times and landscape change, so should the water management system.