Somewhere between a large crop field and a small farm garden is the pasture for a few horses or goats, some cattle or sheep or just an empty plot for haying that you want to keep irrigated. Ideally, something with minimal effort on your part to make it worth the investment. There are more ways than you think to keep your pasture fields green. The large Ag fields still benefit from using mechanized and pivot equipment to cover hundreds of acres of ground. Here we will focus on those smaller areas of just a few acres or so.
Impact Sprinklers are a long time staple in irrigated pastures. While impact sprinklers are durable and versatile they use much more water, so operating costs are definitely higher than some of the newer sprinklers available today. We offer a large selection of Impact Sprinklers in both ½” and ¾” inlet connections.
The biggest drawback of impact sprinkler systems plumbed in permanently is the continual repair/replacement of sprinklers. Animals tend to rub on or kick these and break them. You’re then spending time and money repairing/replacing components, often having to dig up to the underground piping to fix them.
Retro-fitting to the quick connect valve system saves all this hassle. It requires an initial investment of the quick connect valves and risers or keys, as they are often called; but keep in mind, because of the portability of this unit, you don’t have to purchase a sprinkler and riser (key)) for each valve location, plus the valves can be installed on the existing piping. The quick connect valve and key allow you to set the sprinklers in one area, then remove and set in the next without ever having to shut down the pump or turn off a spigot. See this video from Irritec USA and Drip Depot for an example of how these systems install and operate:
The valve is installed in-ground, often connected, similar to a pop-up lawn sprinkler, with a flexible swing joint. The swing joint installation gives the valve some protection if animals step on it or a tractor runs over it; the valve or connection can flex instead of breaking off below ground.
Connecto System from Irritec
If you are looking at a new installation, Irritec offers Connecto Fittings and Speed Risers. The Connecto fittings are very simple and easy to use. They would be great in pasture irrigation with in-ground and surface piping or on mechanical and pivot drops. These are available for PVC pipe or PE tubing installation applications.
Micro Irrigation is moving to the forefront in ag irrigation. In this day and age, with water conservation being a greater factor in irrigation, many are changing to newer sprinkler technology like the Senninger Wobblers. The Wobblers offer several options for this type of application; with the Xcel Wobbler, because of its wide range of operating pressures and nozzle selections, as the top choice. You will likely find a combination that matches your system needs.
For added portability, Senninger has these Quick Connect PVC Couplers that make laying out and retrieving a temporary or portable PVC pipe system super easy. These are available for 1” and 1-¼” PVC pipe.
Portable Irrigation could be what you need for smaller pastures or fields or even larger lawn spaces. While impact sprinklers are all pretty standard, the mounting methods vary greatly. Just a quick note pointing out a couple of items we carry that just might fit in that niche where some of these other options are too permanent for you. Check out the Underhill Tracker and the Underhill RollerPro. These units use a garden hose hook up; no need for installing any irrigation lines.
One of the newer ideas making headlines these days is Subsurface Drip Tape or Drip Line Irrigation for fields and pastures. This practice has been around in crop agriculture for years. By far, this is the most water-wise method as you will not lose any water to evaporation. Watering is right at the roots. As this method is gaining in popularity, you can find a quite a bit of information about it online. One thing to note is the initial investment here involves time, material costs, and possibly a designer fee if you need assistance. The good news is, if well planned, this type of system has the potential to last up to 20 years or more. In subsurface installation, there are fewer components exposed to animal or farm equipment damaged risk.
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