Game Plan

A strategy for irrigation solutions

Published online: Jul 07, 2020 Feature, News Reinke Manufacturing
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During these long summer days, you know that meeting your crop’s water needs are vital to producing a quality product and maximized yields. Smart irrigation practices and advanced technology also help the environment, reducing runoff losses and conserving one of our most valuable resources.

Precision irrigation technology continues to improve water application. The ability to input data like crop water needs, field terrain and soil moisture levels gives growers the power to apply the right amount of water when and where it’s needed. Sugarbeets, with their long growing season and high levels of water consumption, are dependent on receiving consistent water rates from establishment to harvest.

Delta Irrigation’s Rob Mraz works with growers to create precision irrigation plans in Medicine Hat, Alberta. This spring, a new Reinke product was popular with growers in his area.

“Like all growers, producers in Alberta are looking for ways to apply the right water rates on their crops to get the best yields,” said Mraz. “Reinke’s new ESAC™ has become a popular choice.”

Precision Application

Introduced in January, ESAC offers growers increased water uniformity on all Reinke Swing Arm Corners.

By improving ways to water under the swing arm, growers get the most from their entire field. With the electronic zone control of Reinke’s Swing Arm Corner (SAC), growers have the ability to increase the number of irrigated acres they farm. Combined with ESAC, they now have the most advanced swing arm technology – virtually eliminating over- and under-watering throughout corners.

“In the past, swing arms were tricky,” said Cody Bailey, director of engineering for Reinke. “Under a pivot, you’ve been able to put a cup of water down on a field efficiently, but under swing arms it was a little less or a little more than a cup of water.”

By adopting Reinke’s patent pending ESAC technology, growers are now able to make their application more efficient by breaking the swing arm area into numerous different subsections.

“Given the size of the area, how far extended it from the parent machine and the terrain of the field – we’re able to provide a custom watering package,” he said. “During the design phases, dealers will work with growers to customize their corner maps to meet their operational goals.”

In field research during development, ESAC improved water precision application –making it a major improvement for irregular shaped fields and corner applications on rectangular fields.

With electronic zone control based on GPS positioning, ESAC optimizes the application into individual field specifications by controlling the sprinklers.

ESAC is installed on the swing arm corner towers and is available on all Reinke swing arm models. Reinke’s ESAC is also available for competitive systems as a retro swing arm corner span.

In April, Reinke also introduced technology to increase variable rate irrigation efficiency for swing arm corners – SAC VRI. Growers will benefit from the user-friendly RPM Preferred Touch or AnnexPF™ panels and the ability to upload and store several prescriptions, providing them with the opportunity to save both time and money.

Used on the whole irrigation system, variable rate irrigation can segment water application into more than 300,000 zones, which growers can optimize over time. A predictive prescription is provided for SAC VRI to maximize yield based upon results of swing arm corner tests across numerous fields.

SAC VRI is available on all new swing arm corner configurations.

Simple, accessible and refined

As farm sizes increase, producers sometimes have a tough time finding labor to help them handle additional fields. Easy-to-use technology is more than a convenience, it’s a must to have on those larger operations.

As they do with all Reinke products, Bailey and his team continually think about growers and actively work to make technology simple to use.

“Growers tell us that they appreciate technology that is simple, accessible and refined,” he said. “It’s not easy and I think sometimes we think it is, but it takes a lot of work to deliver a simple product.”

In the Fields

While ESAC is new to the fields of Alberta, Delta Irrigation is sure they will make a positive impact for all growers.

“There was a great amount of interest from growers here when ESAC was released,” Mraz said. “The water application efficiency the technology offers means greater uniformity for operations. And that’s valuable to growers no matter what they produce.”

For more information on the products and services available from Delta Irrigation, visit www.deltairrigation.ca for more information. To learn more about Reinke or to locate a dealership near you, visit www.reinke.com or call (402) 365-7251.