Monday, April 29, 2013

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever seen this irrigation system and wondered how such a wide expanse of pipe is moved across the field?  Roy and I first saw them during our years in the high desert of Idaho.  Without extensive irrigation this lush green farm would be desert!  
During our stay in Roswell, we got to observe a wheel line irrigation system up close!  Note that the wheels are clamped to the irrigation pipe and that the wheels have cleats for traction.
In the center of the entire expanse of pipe is a carriage.  This brand is called Easy Move! 
It has a solar powered electric motor.  The irrigation pipe rotates with the wheels, as the carriage moves.  The farmer who owns this unit walks slowly ahead of the carriage, but we have seen others rolling on their own while the farmer is working elsewhere in the field.
The mast on the carriage is most likely an antenna for remote operation, but could be a sensor.  Irrigation control units can be set for the frequency of irrigation, the start time, the duration of watering, and for various sensors to modify the irrigation system's actions.
At the edge of the field is an underground water line with access heads placed every 30-40 feet.
A large hose with a metal coupler attached sets down on the underground water line heads.  The brown rectangular metal piece standing up near the water stream closest to the road is a shield that diverts the spray so it doesn't shoot out into the road.  
When the irrigation system is nearby and the wind blows through the spray, it becomes like a giant cooling system!  Brrrr!  We are glad to have gotten a chance to learn about the water line irrigation system!