Pivot irrigation is a method in which the crops are watered by use of sprinklers. Pivot irrigation can also be referred to as center pivot irrigation, circle irrigation, or water wheel irrigation. It is powered by water although nowadays most pivot irrigation systems are powered by electric motors or hydraulic systems. A pivot irrigation system usually covers at least 160 acres.
The irrigation system has different parts which make it efficient and fast. Here are those basic parts and how they help with pivot irrigation:
This is the control panel of the whole irrigation system. It is the central part which anchors the circular movement of the system; it is also where water enters the pivot pipes. This part of the pivot irrigation system consists of other vital parts that keep the system together. These are the riser pipe, pivot swivel, control panel, collecting ring, pivot legs, and the J-pipe.
The riser pipe: supplies water to all parts of the pivot, it is connected to the first span via the pivot swivel
Pivot swivel: has an elbow-like shape that connects the riser pipe to the first span
Control panel: this part is found at the pivot point, the control panel gives directions to the whole system
Collector ring: this part ensures a continuous flow of electric energy throughout the machine
Pivot legs: pivot legs are four in number, they help to support the pivot point and gives the machine its structure
J-pipe: covers the circuit wires that run through the j-pipe to the collector ring
A tower box is found at each drive unit; it’s the brain of a drive unit.
This part of the machine helps in the movement of the machine since it contains all necessities needed for the machine to move, examples of these necessities are: wheels, base beams, the drive train, and an electrical control box among others.
Spans have pipes which transport water to the field through sprinklers on the pivot.
The control panel
Control panel gives directions/commands which controls the whole machine. It gives directions on when to start and stop, back and forth movements of sprinkler system parts the pivot among others.
Advantages of pivot irrigation
Pivot irrigation has many advantages over other types of irrigation. It is probably one of the best irrigation methods. Here are some of the components that will make you consider this type of irrigation:
Pivot irrigation system has nozzles that can be put to ground level as the crops sprout thus ensuring use of less water; reduces waste of water.
Pivot irrigation system applies water to crops gently thus reducing surface run-offs and paddling.
More affordable compared to other irrigation systems
Can also be used in applying fertilizers to the crop field
Since the system works automatically, it may only need one person to work
The system will deliver work at a certain speed depending on how long you want to work; you can set the time limit and the volume of water it will produce at a particular time since it works automatically
Disadvantages of pivot irrigation
Lack of aeration around the root zone
Pivot irrigation systems have high maintenance costs
It is not suitable in rectangular and square-shaped farms
Unequal distribution of water
High evaporation losses