WorldWide Drilling Resource

12 APRIL 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® 3 Smart Reasons to Use an Irrigation Water Flow Meter Adapted from an Article by Katie Englin, Agricultural Irrigation Specialist, Seametrics Smart irrigation practices include using precise irrigation tools and good management decisions for proper irrigation scheduling, applying water to crops at the exact frequency and amounts needed. This involves studying, understanding, applying, then monitoring and controlling essential instruments such as soil moisture probes and flow meters to ensure efficient use of energy and water in crop production is achieved. Proper irrigation scheduling minimizes the waste of water and nutrients, supporting conservation while maximizing crop yields. How do you know when to apply water? How much water should you apply? You can’t manage what you don’t measure, making the flow meter an integral component of an efficient irrigation system. Three reasons why using an irrigation flow meter is a smart business practice: 1. Improves crop quality and increases yields - Today, virtually every input on a farm is measured from electricity and fertilizer, to pesticides and runoff. It makes sense to measure how much irrigation water is being used. Using the right amount of water, at the right time and in the right place, can improve crop quality, reduce energy and fertilizer costs, minimize topsoil erosion, and increase yields. 2. Determine pump efficiency and quickly identify irrigation system problems to save money - Any time the pump is on, water is moving and costs are being incurred. When variable speed drives are used, costs can include both fuel and electricity. As a management tool, a flow meter can help find the best efficiency point for a system; saving fuel and ensuring the pump is running at optimal rates, reducing costly pump repairs. In addition to pump efficiency, a flow meter can be used as a diagnostic tool, providing critical information and identifying system problems such as leaks, early on, so repairs can be made quickly, reducing downtime, and maintenance costs. 3. Know how much irrigation water you used this season to help you plan for next season - Records of water use allow growers and irrigators to make smart decisions on managing fields. Just as underwatering can result in decreased crop yields, overwatering can have similar effects. Historical data provides a better understanding of how weather patterns, including drought, can affect a growing season. A flow meter can show how much water was needed in past seasons, to help plan for future growing seasons. Whether you use center pivot, drip, microirrigation, or other methods of irrigating, a flow meter is an essential tool. It provides valuable information about water use and system efficiency; while helping irrigators manage and schedule irrigation more precisely; maximizing crop quality and yields, while conserving the world’s most precious natural resource. WTR