- Most electric suppliers offer controlled (off-peak) electric rates for irrigation pumping systems. Using off-peak power rates can reduce pumping costs significantly when compared to regular power rates. However, off-peak rates should not be used with high-value crops like potatoes and onions. Talk with your electric supplier to determine if off-peak power rates would work for your operation. Typically, off-peak use will require a well capacity of 1400 gpm on a 130-acre center pivot or the capacity to irrigate in 100 hours per week. It works best for deep-rooted crops like corn or soybeans. Do you record the static and pumping water levels in the well every year?
- If you have iron in the irrigation water, do you chlorinate the well each year?
- If you have an electric motor, can you subscribe to controlled electric rates (off-peak) from your electric supplier?
Facts and Actions - Irrigation:
- Use of a consistent method of irrigation scheduling can often reduce energy use by 7 to 30%. Using an ET-based irrigation scheduling system can ensure you are not under or over-watering the crop.
- The average life expectancy of a sprinkler head is about seven to 10 years. The diameter of the sprinkler head nozzle is very important for uniform water application; and the nozzle diameter can grow with use, especially if there is sand or grit in the water. Poor application uniformity increases water pumping time and therefore energy use. Replace broken sprinkler heads as soon as possible. Do a “can test” to check the uniformity of the application pattern. Repair all leaks on the center pivot as soon as you notice them.