Skip to main content

Improving Farm Irrigation Systems by Automation

Humpherys, Allan S. (1978) Improving Farm Irrigation Systems by Automation. pp. 35.89-35.98. In: Proc. Int. Comm. Irrig. Drain., 10th Congr. Greece-Athens, 1978/05/23-06/03.

[img] PDF

Download (571kB)


Automation can make surface irrigation more attractive to the irrigator
by reducing labor and energy requirements. Where lands and soils are well
suited for surface irrigation, it is often more economical to improve surface
systems than to convert them to energy intensive systems requiring many
times more energy.

Canal systems need to be improved to facilitate on-farm automation by
providing water on demand at the farm turnout. Improvements required to
partially satisfy this need include: greater use of automatic control facilities,
increasing the storage capacity of the system by constructing small regulating
reservoirs and providing additional freeboard, improving turnouts to allow
acceptance or rejection of the farm delivery, and improved water-measurement
devices to measure water volumetrically. Where these improvements are
not made, small farm reservoirs may be needed to provide water on demand
and to facilitate automation of the farm system.

Many surface systems can be improved by replacing open - ditches with
buried pipelines and gated surface pipe. Systems with pipelines can be
improved by using automated valves and controls with existing facilities.
Both programable controllers and manually reset timers can be used for
either fully automatic or semiautomatic operation.

Runoff was reduced about 45 per cent on experimental test plots using
cutback furrow irrigation streams. Less water was applied with timer-controlled,
semiautomatic irrigation than with manual irrigation. This
resulted in higher production efficiencies in terms of crop yield per unit of
water applied.

Irrigation efficiencies with present systems having long lengths-of-run
can be improved by using either surface or buried pipe laterals to divide the
total field length into two or more subruns. This is usually not practical
unless the system is automated.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
NWISRL Publication Number: 0401
Additional Information: Q35, R.5
Subjects: Practical farm efficiency
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:56
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2017 22:32
Item ID: 1007