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Farm Irrigation

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by agrostis, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. mrsteve

    mrsteve LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    Did you have stripes on your pants when doing that job? No offense, just asking.
     
  2. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,819

    irrigation in ag settings are a little different than most people would realize.

    i took water at 4 pm thursday, released it at 3:45 this am. semi constant attention required. twice a month i spend from 48 to 72 hrs checking and changing water in order to get the most efficient use of the water with the least amount of waste.

    my buddies work in orchard irrigation and even with central control they have 1 - 5 men whose jobs are physically checking the micro-sprays and VFD pressures. there is always a chance of broken heads or lines that arent recognized with flow monitoring. this year the guys have been having hell with grass cutter wasps stuffing the nozzles with grass.
     
  3. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    DOC backflow protection:

    chastity-belt.jpg
     
  4. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Nope & none taken.

    I'm the guy behind the camara second guessing and critisizing; my son is wearing the orange shirt.
     
  5. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Where do you release your water from & to?
     
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,819

    my side has an open corporation ditch with valves, dams and gates.

    i have 16 - 12" w/ 6" to 12" side by side. my tail water drains to a pond and then to the creek it is taken from which runs to the river. our supply comes from the mountains via various creeks and streams and is dependent upon the winter snow pack.

    this system is slowly being replaced by drilled wells as the land is being developed into orchards, i have pasture for livestock which is becoming a rarity.

    the nut and cereal industry is going bonkers, american farmers feed the world and a big chunk of the world has no refrigeration to speak of hence the want for nuts, grains and dried fruits.

    i am seeing trees that i saw planted when i was younger being replaced and i won't live to see that another time and new orchards are going in.
     
  7. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Water in my AG area is supplied via well or via canal. In either case, volume is contracted with Florida water management.

    We have a fairly equal distribution between livestock pasture and agriculutural. The areas North and East is citrus country, their water demand is different. Western or central regions within the Souther region are mostly livestock; beef; milk; equestrian, and agricultural; grain; cane; melon; tomato, etc.

    Is your water regulated or do you have free use?
     
  8. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Water in my AG area is supplied via well or via canal. In either case, volume is contracted with Florida water management.

    We have a fairly equal distribution between livestock pasture and agricultural. The areas North and East is citrus country, their water demand is different. Western or central regions within the Southern region are mostly livestock; beef; milk; equestrian, and agricultural; grain; cane; melon; tomato, etc.

    I have seen hundreds of thousands of acres of natural habitat, nursery & agricultural fall prey to the developers. A more innocent way of life went with it, dirt roads, farm shanties, fruit and vegetable stands on the side of the road... being able to leave your doors unlocked and doing business on a hand shake. I understand.

    Is your water regulated or do you have free use?
     
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,819

    we buy water shares which are worth 1 acre foot per set. the season goes from may to oct unless there are very dry conditions.

    this is very cheap water, rough figuring 43,000+ square feet per acre is over 300,000 gals per acre
     
  10. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    That DOC system will consume 10,000 glns per zone, per cycle, there are 10 zones governing five acres. They will plant different crops per acre and schedule irrigation suitable to each crop acre.

    The system has rain sensors and ground moisture sensors so it won't water when not required for crop production. The exception is that all zones will cycle briefly during dry spells to prevent the top soil from becoming airborne and blowing away.

    We have reduced consumption from about 175,000 gallons to about 100,000 (+ -) gallons per day assuming all zones cycle (presently all five acres are planted). We are still averaging out the numbers but it looks like we'll achieve at least a 40% annual water use reduction not discounting rain days.

    The source is the institutions own potable water supply which is drawn from 2deep wells (about 950 ft) in the Floridian aquifer. They have permits to pull as much as 7,000,000 per day. It is delivered to us at 60PSI dynamic via a 4" pipe we reduce to a 3" main @ the PVB. From there we have 2" laterals into the field to 2" risers set 48" above grade - 40ft. triangular spacing (on center) & reduced to 3/4" into Rainbird 35A-TNT Series impact sprinklers.

    We also have a 6" 50HP diesel tractor pump we are trying to get going. It'll produce 1,200-1,400 GPM & 70 ft of head. Once fired up we'll start an installation on the other side of the compound to irrigate 50 acres from a lake. The acreage is symmetric. The farm squads supervisors are talking about a flood system via 6" collapsible poly; I'm hoping we'll do better than that.

    I'm also concerned about a draw down on the lake since it is all of 3 or 4 acres and only 10 ft. at its deepest. I had recommended a separate well for all of the outside grounds AG irrigation.

    I'm open to suggestions and wouldn't mind learning some math regarding water usage for a flood fill application. I would imagine it would have to be zoned off or have a portable system.
     

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