Water conservation is a critical issue – not only for the irrigation industry and agricultural producers, but for every person on the planet Earth. It is very important that the right water application devices are installed on each system we sell to not only conserve water but to maximize yield. The ability to control droplet size, throw pattern and wind drift are extremely important when choosing the right sprinkler device for your irrigation system. Because of the huge variation of soil types, wind patterns and types of crops grown, it is important that we provide our customers with a wide selection of devices to choose from.
Reinke has always been cautious in offering only the best sprinkler products available that have been engineered with performance and quality in mind. Today, there are many sprinkler options that provide a multitude of droplet sizes and pattern widths using both moving and stationary streams. These sprinkler products are capable of generating low to moderately high application rates by utilizing a variety of plates, operating pressures, mounting heights and sprinkler spacing. Reinke dealers are trained and capable of guiding you to the sprinkler option best suited to your specific terrain, soil type, climate, and cropping practices.
Pressure regulators are used to eliminate the pressure variation at the sprinkler nozzle that can be caused by water table fluctuations, elevation changes within the field, and the opening/closing of valves on the same pipeline. Pressure regulators are also useful for reducing higher pressures near the pivot point where the sprinkler nozzles are the smallest, thus minimizing plugging, wind drift and evaporation.
Pressure regulators are required for use with many of the sprinkler options that have been engineered for operating pressures ranging between 10 and 20 psi. Pressure is vital in providing the desired effect and performance from the sprinkler device’s selected plate, drop length and spacing. Operating pressures that are either above or below the manufacturer’s recommendations can cause undesirable results both in the water application and expected life of the product. Choosing to skimp on the sprinkler package (not using regulators, fewer devices at a wider spacing, etc) to save a few dollars on the initial investment can end up costing hundreds of dollars in resulting yields every year.
End Guns and Booster Pumps
End guns are an economical way to add profitable acres to your farm operation. That is the good news! The not so good news is that an end gun requires the highest operating pressure of any sprinkler on the irrigation system and is located where the system pressure happens to be the lowest.
The optimum operating pressure for an end gun can range between 40 and 70 psi. Why so wide? This range is based largely on the nozzle size of the end gun which is determined by the system length, total system flow (gpm), operating pressure and the distance of throw or effective coverage of the end gun. The following chart can be used to illustrate this:
For example, if the end gun nozzle requires 55 psi, the system can be designed with a 25 psi end of system pressure and a 2 HP booster pump can be utilized to provide the additional 30 psi required for maximum end gun performance. Reinke understands the importance of efficiency and the hidden cost associated with inefficiencies. That is why we locate the booster pump at the end gun with full sweep elbows to minimize the costly friction loss and additional weighty components that are generally associated with mounting the booster pump at the end tower.
Product literature from many end gun manufacturers may state the ability of their product to operate at pressures below 40 psi and even as low as 25 psi. Do not make the mistake of thinking this should or can be the designed operating pressure! The fact that the end gun may be capable of operating at pressures as low as 25 psi assures you that the end gun will continue to operate in either direction without sticking or hanging up when fluctuating pressures unavoidably occur.
Not utilizing a booster pump when the operating pressure falls below the minimum requirements can be detrimental to the soil, delicate crops and crop yields. There are devices available for some end guns that are designed to diffuse the nozzle stream at lower pressures but they also reduce the throw and effective coverage of the end gun. A smaller and/or more economical end gun, impact sprinkler or other part circle device designed for this purpose may be a more suitable choice for the desired additional coverage.
Drops and Sprinkler Accessories
Reinke offers a wide variety of sprinkler mounting components to customize your system for your specific needs. We offer 3/4” rigid drops in many lengths (3’ - 10’ in 6” increments) and in various materials (galvanized steel, PVC, polyethylene). We have combo drops, which are rigid PVC or poly material with 2’ of flexible hose at one end to dampen the vibration that can be caused by some sprinkler options. We also offer hose drops that can be tailored to any length.
Rotators, Spinners, D3000s, and LDNs are all also available as part circle devices to direct the water away from the wheel tracks when necessary to minimize tracking and the potential for getting stuck. Part circle devices must be used on rigid galvanized drops for best results. There are numerous device weights for full circle sprinklers to stabilize hose drops in the wind. Nozzle clips that will hold an additional nozzle or two and allow a quick nozzle change between two or three flow rates during the irrigation season. There are special 125 degree goosenecks and hose slings that allow for a widening of the sprinkler pattern and lowering of the application intensity. Trashbuster bodies will minimize trash build up on the body for uninterrupted service, and flow control nozzles will help minimize nozzle plugging while maintaining a more constant flow. Hose Drag Adapters will allow converting spray patterns to direct application of water in the furrow. Pressure gauges can be easily located at the system end to assure proper operating pressure is maintained. The list goes on and on. See your Reinke dealer for solutions to all your irrigation needs.