The right dose at the right time in the right growth phase
It is crucial for efficient irrigation and thus for a good harvest that the plant is supplied with water at the right time, in the right dose and in the right growth phase. Needs-based irrigation is the basis for an optimal harvest and is considered an insurance that the use of seeds, fertilizers and energy really pays off. In England, for example, where it normally rains often, it is essential to irrigate potato fields. Especially in spring, when the potatoes have to sprout, it does not always rain sufficiently in England. If the potato-plant is not supplied with sufficient water at this stage, it is already predetermined that yields will be very poor. Not only potatoes, but also field vegetables and beets are among the main crops that do not grow satisfactorily without irrigation. At the same time, we are also observing that malting barley and corn increasingly require additional irrigation.
Water is a precious resource and only available in limited quantities. It is therefore all the more important to only irrigate the exact dose required. For this reason modern irrigation management has to take current climate data, such as soil moisture and conditions, temperature and humidity into account, in order to calculate and give the necessary water requirements for the crop. Reliable, precise irrigation control provides valuable services, preferably as automated as possible. Modern irrigation technology is heading precisely in this direction: Precise control, monitoring, operational planning, automation and smart irrigation are indispensable for many farmers. The more efficiently water is used, the less energy is wasted. Energy efficiency together with manpower is an important cost factor when using different irrigation systems.
The right irrigation solution for the farm
Whichever mechanical irrigation system you chose, it is all about water distribution efficiency. A proven mechanical irrigation system used worldwide is the so-called hose reel machine. The great advantage of this system is that it can be moved flexibly and easily from one field to the next. Maintaining an even feed speed is essential for efficient use of the hose reel irrigator in order to ensure constant and precise water application over the entire length of the field. The optimum speed, which can be determined from special performance tables, can be precisely set with an irrigation computer and maintained over the entire irrigation operation. The modern devices are absolutely precise and therefore also water-saving. Using special applications — such as the GPS-supported app “SmartRain” from Bauer — it is also possible to monitor and control the irrigation machine. This saves working time and of course travel time to the machines, which brings us to the disadvantages of this system: Due to the increased workload and energy consumption compared to other methods, it is comparatively expensive to operate.