With our crops harvested and out of the way, now is a good time to look at maintenance of our center pivot irrigation machines. Here is a checklist of items to consider:
- Perform a “catch-can” uniformity test to verify the system is applying water uniformly.
- Check for leaks, malfunctioning or missing sprinklers, etc. Repair problems.
- Drain pipes, valves, tanks, pumps, sprinklers, booster pumps, etc.
- Close or cover openings, even with motors and pumps, that would allow mice to enter.
- Service gear boxes, drive lines, motors on pivot towers, as well as the engine that may be driving your pump.
- Lock the control box in the OFF position.
- Repair deeply rutted pivot wheel tracks.
- Consider a new sprinkler package that could replace what's on your system now, if it's not performing well. There are many new, innovative sprinkler designs on the market.
- Make sure the flow meter on your withdrawal point (usually at your pump) is functioning properly and look at your flow meter readings and see if your pump is putting out the flow that it's designed for.
- And it's also a good time to think about next year. You're not quite as busy this time of year, so give some thought to, 'Do I want to look at a different irrigation sprinkler package? Do I want to look at some new technologies to help with irrigation scheduling? Or look at some sensors and maybe software that could help with that technology?'
For more great irrigation information, visit the Stripling Park website and follow SIRP on Twitter (@StriplingPark).