What is in this article?:
- Alabama's Dee River Ranch: state of the art irrigation technology
- Showcase of irrigation technologies
- Precision variable rate irrigation
- Savings in energy, labor, and time
The Dee River Ranch installation is “a showcase for the most sophisticated irrigation technologies available today,” says Randy Wood, vice president of sales and marketing for Zimmatic. “It’s a completely integrated irrigation system that will meet their current and projected future needs.
ANNIE DEE, second from left; her husband, Ed Sikora, left; Randy Wood, third from left, vice president of sales and marketing for Zimmatic by Lindsay; and Perry Oakes, Natural Resources Conservation Service, were among those welcoming visitors to Dee River Ranch for a look at their state of the art irrigation system. Annie and her brother, Mike Dee, run the 10,000-acre operation.
Showcase of irrigation technologies
The installation is “a showcase for the most sophisticated irrigation technologies available today,” said Randy Wood, vice president of sales and marketing for Zimmatic. “It’s a completely integrated irrigation system, utilizing the knowledge and expertise of all the Lindsay divisions, for a system that will meet Dee River Ranch’s current and projected future needs.
“We’ve been building durable, rugged irrigation systems since the 1950s that are operation all over the world. Some 40- and 50-year old systems are still reliably operating every day. Combined with the high tech Growsmart control panels, these systems offer growers ease of use, reduced risk, and increased profitability.
“In addition to providing optimum application rates and high efficiency, these engineered sprinkler systems have chemigation and fertigation capability to extend capital investment and reduce cost per acre. Programmable controls increase efficiency and improve yields by allowing the right amount of irrigation at precisely the right time of the crop’s growth cycle.”
The Dee River system includes five new Zimmatic center pivots, for a total of seven on the ranch, in lengths from 988 feet to 2,023 feet, covering about 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans, and cotton. It utilizes GPS satellite positioning for precise pivot position and end gun control. All systems have Growsmart FieldBoss control panels and FieldNet Wireless Irrigation Management technology to control all pumps and pivots through an ezWireless broadband Internet network.
John Atkinson, agricultural business manager for Watertronics, a Lindsay company, said the pumping stations were custom engineered and pre-tested, based on the ranch’s specific needs, field conditions, and irrigation network design.
"The main pumping station has a 12,500 gallons per minute capacity, using five 150 horsepower vertical turbine motors; it can deliver water to 15 pivots. Water is pumped from the 120 acre reservoir, which can store 1,700 acre feet of water, through below-ground pipes ranging in diameter up to 30 inches.
“The transfer pump station has a 7,500 gallons per minute capacity, using three 100 horsepower vertical turbine motors to deliver water from a nearby creek to the reservoir. Water is pumped over 3,000 feet, up a grade of 50 feet.
“Watertronics variable frequency drive technology is used in both pumping stations, and both are controlled and monitored by FieldNet Wireless Irrigation Management. System status is transmitted every minute over the wireless network and can be monitored and controlled by computer or smart phone anywhere with Internet access.”