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Variable Rate Irrigation. Cody Daft April 13 th , 2007. Precision Agriculture. Where Have We Been Soil Sampling Yield Monitors GPS Where Are We At Today Greenseeker Variable Rate Technology Auto Steer. Why Use Precision Agriculture?. Why Adopt New Methods/Technology?

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variable rate irrigation

Variable Rate Irrigation

Cody Daft April 13th, 2007

precision agriculture
Precision Agriculture
  • Where Have We Been
    • Soil Sampling
    • Yield Monitors
    • GPS
  • Where Are We At Today
    • Greenseeker
    • Variable Rate Technology
    • Auto Steer
why use precision agriculture
Why Use Precision Agriculture?
  • Why Adopt New Methods/Technology?
    • 95% of all cropland in South America is no-till
  • Bottom line= $$$$ Money
    • Reduce Labor
    • Intensive Management Strategies
  • Environmental Control
law of the minimum
Law of The Minimum
  • Yields are directly proportional to the most limiting growth factor
    • Nutrients
    • Heat
    • Light
    • Water
limiting growth factor
Limiting Growth Factor
  • Water is most limiting growth factor in many regions of the world
limiting growth factor1
Limiting Growth Factor
  • When a limiting growth factor, such as water, is removed by installing an irrigation system it will generally improve plant response to fertilizer used to correct nutrient deficiencies that are also limiting growth
  • For a large portion of the US, the single most important production factor is irrigation management
  • Challenges
    • Optimization of water use
    • Environment
  • CP systems are relatively efficient
    • Uniformity
uniform application over a non uniform landscape
Uniform Application Over A Non-Uniform Landscape
  • Non-Uniformity may be a result of
    • Irregularly shaped fields resulting in off-site application of water
    • Overlapping of CP systems
    • Multiple crops under the same system
    • Variability in soil type
    • Variability in topography
variable rate irrigation1
Variable Rate Irrigation
  • Site Specific Irrigation
  • Delivery of irrigation water in optimum amounts over an entire field
  • Challenges
    • Variability in soil texture
    • Variability in water holding capacity
    • Variability in water infiltration/drainage rates
    • Non-Uniform cropping patterns due to terraces
variable rate irrigation2
Variable Rate Irrigation
  • Match the non-uniformity of the field with an appropriate non-uniform CP application

“CP systems are particularly well suited to variable rate irrigation because of their current level of automation and large coverage with a single pipe.” (Evans et al.,2000)

vri how does it work
VRI: How Does It Work
  • A GPS is mounted on the end span of a pivot.
vri how does it work1
VRI: How Does It Work
  • A controller, much like a spray controller, is mounted near the pivot point. 
  • It contains a "water map" on a data card programmed from a desktop computer. 
vri how does it work2
VRI: How Does It Work
  • Uses information from GPS to control banks of sprinklers which are then cycled on/off according to a pre-determined prescription map
  • Prescription maps are created using PC desktop software
  • The application map divides the circular area covered by the pivot into 1-10° pie slices and every slice is divided into segments
vri how does it work3
VRI: How Does It Work
  • Application Maps
  • The water map and controller manage the water rates.
vri how does it work4
VRI: How Does It Work
  • Hydraulic valves are mounted at each nozzle that is to be controlled, that is turned off or left on when moving across areas of the field to have a rate or irrigation greater than or less than the base rate.
  • An air compressor provides the air to close the hydraulic valves as directed by the controller.
vri how does it work5
VRI: How Does It Work
  • The controller communicates with electronic "node boxes" mounted down the system.  Each node box can control up to EIGHT "banks" of nozzles. 
  • The controller tells which solenoids to open, allowing air from the air compressor to pass through the solenoid, closing the bank of nozzles associated with that solenoid
variable rate irrigation3
Variable Rate Irrigation

VRI Clip

variable rate irrigation4
Variable Rate Irrigation
  • Pivots can be programmed to automatically shut off, to avoid overlap and non-crop inclusions in the field
  • Application rates can be pre-determined for automatic rate control on different soil types
  • Accounts for spatial variability in the field
variable rate irrigation5
Variable Rate Irrigation
  • Improve uniformity
  • Save water
  • Optimize pumping costs
  • Help to keep water out of non-farmed areas
  • Prevent "double watering" where pivots overlap.
  • Improve irrigation management decisions
  • Increase flexibility in fields with multiple crops or planting dates
  • Improve the benefits of other precision agriculture practices
variable rate irrigation6
Variable Rate Irrigation
  • Base Cost of System: $7300.00
  • Cost per Node:$1500.00(1 to 4 nodes per system, depending on size)
  • Cost per Variable Rate Valve:$32.00(1 valve per sprinkler)
  • Labor:$2200.00 (includes 1 year of technical support)
  • Distance Surcharge:$2.00 per mile, miles greater than 100 from Ashburn, Georgia(Example: location 500 miles away has a single charge of $800, $2 X 400 miles)
  • Hobbs & Holder, LLC / NESPAL / Farmscan (Australia),