Potato Grower

January 2020

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WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 59 DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH DAMMER DIKERS? 509-582-8900 www.dammerdiker.com 2353-75AgEngineering&Dev16h.indd 1 11/28/18 8:33 AM in the cap to regulate the spin of the deflector plate that creates the desired spray pattern. When these wear out, the plate rotates much faster, creating a whipping effect and a much smaller throw. Three of the 131 sprinklers in the sprinkler package were replaced; replacing all the parts is recommended when the accumulated number of malfunctioning parts reaches 10 percent. Almost all sprinkler types will have a wear point that will need attention during their useable lifespan of seven to 10 years. The irrigation system chosen for the study had its water supply flow tested to assure that the sprinkler design was matched to water supply. Photos and video provide easy identification of differences between a given sprinkler and those adjacent to it. Pivots that have inadequate water supply flow for the sprinkler pattern will have a slowly decreasing application as you move from the center of the pivot length to the end gun, which may not be readily visible from photos or video. There are common problems that greatly reduce water application uniformity from center pivots that our photos and drone video did not identify but our can test did. The drone footage did not capture the over-application area between the interface of an end gun and the sprinkler package identified by the catch can test. It did a good job of identifying sprinklers out of sequence when we switched sprinklers, causing a double- and half- application mistake area. A local pivot technician looking at the flight video said the video would be the perfect method to document what leaks and flanges need repaired on a unit. It would eliminate the necessity to turn the water on to identify leaks when a technician first gets to a site. A video from the ground would also work but would be much harder to get to in the middle of the season with standing crops in the field. Whether taken from the ground or a drone, a video sent to the repairman can be a huge benefit to identifying sprinkler problems. Lyndon Kelley is a water management and irrigation educator, and Eric Anderson is a field crops educator, both with Michigan State University Extension. They can be reached at kelleyl@msu.edu and eander32@msu.edu, respectively. Conducting a catch can test can highlight sprinkler heads that are performing outside a range of tolerance, which is generally ±5 to 8 percent of the average volume. PH: 218-346-3357 • Toll Free: 888-884-8070 47418 US Hwy 10 Perham, MN 56573 • w w w . b t u v e n t . c o m 165656BTUVen13s.indd 1 1/23/17 3:10 PM

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