Phasellus ultrices ligula vitae velit aliquam porta. Integer id vehicula velit.
You may unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe link in the digest email.
Over time, two different types of irrigation have been recognized as superior methods — drip and center pivots. Growers now associate certain pluses and minuses with each. Some of these assumptions are true. Some are myths.
So how do you make a decision between the two? You compare the facts. This is the first of a series of blog posts that will address some of these misconceptions. Read this, then check back soon for part 2!
There are many important factors, but here are three main things to consider:
Both options offer water efficiency of 90% or more, and drip irrigation definitely has its place; it can be effective in some settings. For example, in small or irregularly shaped fields, drip is often a viable option. But in many other situations, center pivot irrigation is more cost effective and offers growers maximum control – and greater peace of mind.
Center pivots provide growers with peace of mind, water efficiency and maximum yields in their large fields.
Of course, when it comes to center pivots, you will never find better, more durable products and technology than those from Valley® Irrigation.
When it comes to initial investment costs, center pivots are much less expensive than drip irrigation – more than $600 per acre less ($1,700 per hectare less).
Center Pivots Cost Less and Retain their Value
Initial Investment Costs
Cost per acre
Savings per acre
Lamm, Freddie R.; O’Brien, Daniel M.; Rogers, Danny H. “Using the K-State Center Pivot Sprinkler and SDI Economic Comparison Spreadsheet – 2018”: 2-4
On average, pivots also last longer – 25 years or longer is normal for Valley® equipment. The longevity of drip systems is improving, but that still depends on numerous factors and some “big ifs,” including error-free system management.
Plus, even after 15 years of consistent work, Valley pivots retain 50% of their resale value. Sellers of drip systems cannot say the same.
Out of sight, out of mind -- until there's a problem. The nature of drip irrigation systems makes it hard to identify and address problems, since they are buried underground.
Drip systems require more labor and a higher level of management to operate and maintain. Some remote technology exists, but drip irrigation management is still largely a manual process – it can takeseveral hours to walk a field monitoring, flushing and maintaining the filters and lines. Center pivots are a different story.
One person can remotely manage multiple machines covering thousands of acres in minutes, using today’s computerized controls. Plus, you don’t have to hire people to install and remove equipment season after season.
Labor Comparison Between
Subsurface Drip Irrigation and Center Pivots
Flush lines; Chlorinate;
Check system pressure at various points; Monitor system flow rates
Filter; Check valves; Confirm emitter performance; Chlorinate
Check oil levels in gearboxes and center drives
Drip irrigation requires more management even if everything goes correctly, which is often a very big if. Too often, SDI systems are “out of sight, out of mind.” With a pivot, you have greater peace of mind.
About Andy Oerman
Sr. Copywriter/Content Strategist
28800 Ida St
Valley, NE 68064 USA
© 2020 Valmont Industries, Inc.