The total cost of purchasing a Pivot machine can be defined according to the composition of said machine. To design a Pivot irrigation system, there are some details we need to know:
- A plan of the land with its elevations, showing the location of the water and electricity supplies.
- The size and shape of the land. By means of this datum we decide on the type of system (circular, sectorial, linear, hippodrome…), whether stop-in-slot or auto-reverse is required (the latter may be pivot-point or end-tower), whether an end gun is required to increase the irrigable area, and the composition of the machine (number and length of the spans and length of the overhang).
- The flowrate and pressure available. This determines the diameter of the main piping of the system and the need or otherwise to use low-pressure sprinklers.
- The type of soil and its orography. The wheels to be used for the Pivot machine depend on this factor; standard wheels or high-flotation wheels, and the advisability of installing emitters that spray the water over a greater area, to facilitate filtration and to prevent run-off. Or perhaps to recommend a dry wheel package, consisting of extending the sprinkler outlet above the wheels rearwards with regard to the direction of movement, so that the wheels always run on dry ground, preventing them from sinking into the rut when the soil is clay-like.
- The crops foreseen. This reveals the water requirements and therefore the flow to be distributed, and also the height of the Pivot machine in order to clear the crops.
- The unevenness of the land. This forces us to incorporate pressure regulators to guarantee the same flowrate at all the outlets, regardless of the varying levels of the ground.
- The availability of electrical power. If there is none, an electrical generator must be considered to provide power for the Pivot irrigation system.
- The water supply. If there is no natural or pumped pressure, the pump and the piping necessary to supply the Pivot must be calculated. In the case of linear systems or raingers, the ingress of water to the system inlet may be via a hose or drawn from a channel.
- Is the area windy? For low-growing crops or in windy areas it is advisable to install drops that bring the sprinklers closer to the ground, thus reducing evaporation and dispersal by the wind. It is also advisable to provide for anchoring systems to ensure the safety of the Pivot.
Purchasing a Pivot machine is investing in technology
Purchasing a Pivot irrigation machine is investing in technology. It entails a guarantee of capital return, as it increases productivity and expands the agricultural frontier, improves income and day-to-day work, increases the value of land that was recently considered to be a marginal area, generates stability of supply, eliminates climate uncertainty, brings environmental benefits…