Too spend or not to spend? Upgrading a Centre Pivot

It is often difficult to know whether or not to put money into repairing old overhead irrigation systems as there is no guarantee that you will achieve sufficient improvement in the irrigation system to payback the cost of the upgrade or repair. Rob Carter, Scott Smith and Matt Finch of “Struanville”, Bowenville faced this dilemma, and with the assistance of Pat Daley of Daley Water Services, they were able to identify areas to focus on which would give them the best return for their dollar.

In November 2011, Pat together with the More Profit Per Drop team and the “Struanville” team, conducted a full evaluation including assessing the pump, water and power supply, and the machine itself. From this assessment, Pat identified a number of areas that could be improved and detailed these for the “Struanville” team. Matt Finch said that “without hard evidence it was hard to justify spending any money on it (the centre pivot) until we knew where we were standing with it”. As a result of Pat’s recommendations the “Struanville” team installed a new sprinkler package with regulators, fitted spreader bars on the overhang and last four towers, and ordered a filter to be fitted.

Immediately they noticed a difference with irrigation appearing to be much more uniform. This was confirmed with a follow up evaluation which determined the uniformity of the irrigation had improved from 74% to 92%. As a result, the “Struanville” team believe it was money well spent on the machine as they anticipate achieving better yields in future with more efficient use of their water and energy resources.

Click below to watch Pat Daley, Matt Finch and Phil Bell (Lindsay Zimmatic) discuss the assessment and improvements made to the machine.

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