Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Smart Irrigation Month

Posted by romeethredge on July 29, 2013



Helping Growers Maximize Water-Use Efficiency

Smart Irrigation Month is a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use. Focused on July, Smart Irrigation Month highlights effective practices and innovative technologies to:

  • Increase crop yield, quality and profits per acre.
  • Apply water and nutrient inputs more precisely for improved results with no waste.
  • Minimize runoff and top soil erosion.
  • Help protect and preserve water supplies for today and the future.

Tip #4 – Optimize your center pivot system’s performance by determining the uniformity and efficiency of the system. Efficiency refers to the ratio of how much water the plant beneficially receives/uses to how much water the irrigation system applies (i.e. how much you pump). You want to maximize efficiency because you are paying for the water pumped, so make sure it does the most good for your plants – get the most crop from every drop!

Efficiency (%) = 100 x [water received/used by the plant / water applied]


Sprinkler types typical in GA, in decreasing efficiencies: low pressure spray-type on drop hoses, low pressure spray-type on top of mainline, high pressure impact-type on top of mainline.


Uniformity, or more specifically – application uniformity – refers to how evenly you apply water over the wetted area. Equipment selection, functionality and the design of the irrigation system can affect the application uniformity of your irrigation system. Obviously we would like every plant across the field to get the proper amount of irrigation water applied. You don’t want improperly spaced or sized sprinklers / nozzles, blown gaskets, leaking boots, or clogged or broken sprinklers to negatively impact your uniformity.

Here’s a link to a publication on measuring uniformity:

I read recently that “system design and management are keys to efficient irrigation systems. This means to get optimum performance from your irrigation system, you must properly design, maintain, and manage it. If you don’t optimize any of these variables, system efficiency will be reduced.” Let’s shoot for highly efficient and uniform delivery of irrigation water with our center pivot systems!

Calvin Perry









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