Tips for Maintaining Your Farm Irrigation System
For a farm to thrive, it needs an efficient and properly maintained irrigation system. Unfortunately, we cannot manipulate the weather. An appropriately operating irrigation system will move water effectively to the roots of the crops and optimize growth. Follow these tips for maintaining your farm irrigation system to enhance your produce production.
Use a Filtration System
Particulate matter found in water will cause buildup within your irrigation system. Implementing a filtration system will keep that buildup from occurring. Sand media filters aid in the removal of inorganic and organic material. The sand allows the irrigation water to pass through slowly, removing fragments in the process. Screen and disk filters trap inorganic material and prevent it from flowing through the system. A screen filter works as its name suggests—the matter passes through a screen. The disk filters trap that matter but allow the water to flow into a central conduit, leaving debris in the disks. This keeps the system happy and buildup-free.
Any filtration system will need cleaning and flushing to remove the debris and keep the system working correctly. A washdown hose nozzle will assist in the cleaning process. To know when the filtration system needs to be cleaned out, install a pressure gauge—an efficient filter will have little to no resistance.
Flush the Lines
Before you inject chemicals into the lines, make sure to flush the irrigation system. Begin by cleaning the filters then rinse the mainlines, the submains, and finally, the laterals. You should routinely flush the line every other week, but you may want to clean it more often if you notice that the line is dirty.
Chlorination is a common practice that removes living organisms in irrigation water. Each time you use the system, inject liquid sodium hypochlorite into the far end of the micro-sprinkler or drip irrigation system. Be sure to always take safety precautions when handling the chemicals.
As a farmer, your sole responsibility is to grow and protect the crops that feed other humans or animals. Something as simple as maintaining your farm irrigation system can provide your farm with the ability to prosper.