As a farm owner in Ontario, you are always looking at options to produce more crops, enhance crop quality, and cut down on your operating expenses to improve profitability. One aspect that can influence yield, quality, and the cost is the irrigation system on your farm. Targeted irrigation can result in better soil aeration, stronger root zones, and optimum growing conditions, leading to tastier, healthier, nutrient-rich crops and happy, returning buyers. If you opt for a drip irrigation system, it could also significantly reduce your water and energy bills.
The qualified irrigation and water management (IWM) specialists at Vanden Bussche Irrigation offer effective tips on how to go about updating the irrigation system on your agriculture farm in Ontario.
Irrigation systems are more than just water-delivery systems for plants or crops. Whether you own a vineyard, orchard, berry farm, or grow vegetables and row crops, updating the irrigation system on your farm requires careful planning and consideration. Before you embark on such a significant project, here are some aspects to consider:
Current State: Conduct a complete inventory of the existing irrigation facilities and equipment on your farm. What are your water sources? What type of pumps, filters, pipes, and fittings do you have? Do you own the land, or are you leasing it? Are there any local bylaws that may govern decisions about your irrigation system?
System Design Elements: Consider and make a wish list of the design elements in your new system. These will depend on your key goals—are you focused on reducing energy costs, minimizing water wastage, automation and control, alteration in crops or crop needs, or something else?
Budget: Think about how much you are willing to spend and whether you wish to stagger your expenses by prioritizing certain farm areas over others. Remember, it is not just the system cost and installation expenses. Still, you also need to think about the fuel type, cost and availability, labour requirements, the nature of your crop, and the water sources on your farm.
Types of Systems: Whether you are installing a new irrigation system or updating an existing one, your farm irrigation solutions will depend on:
A surface drip irrigation system or subsurface drip irrigation system (drip tubing under the soil surface) sends the water directly to the plant roots. It uses low water pressure, saving you money on energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint. A sprinkler system delivers water in more widespread, controlled ranges, with the pipes laid either temporarily above ground or permanently underground and sprinkler heads located at strategic positions to cover the relevant zones of the farm. While the water distribution happens through a network of sprinkler heads, valves, pipes, and water pumps, sprinkler irrigation systems offer a range of watering methods, including:
Lateral Move Pivots: Self propelled wheeled towers moving laterally down field with minimal labour required to operate, and allowing efficient use of water
Hand Move Systems: Labour intensive, but ideal for a temporary solution because they can be moved to allow for other farm operations
Hard Hose Reels (Travellers): Minimal labour to operate and flexibility to move to different areas of the farm very easily
Solid Set: Sprinklers intended to stay in place for at least a season. Typically, a combination of underground pipe and hand move pipe to allow other farm operations
Center Pivot: Self-propelling wheeled towers self-propelling wheeled towers rotating around a pivot point. Very minimal labour to operate and efficient use of water.
At Vanden Bussche Irrigation, we offer design, planning, and installation for an extensive range of irrigation systems from leading brands, including Netafim Drip Irrigation, Zimmatic Pivot Irrigation, Bauer Hard Hose Reel Irrigation, and both Rain Bird and Nelson sprinkler systems and Zimmatic Pivot Irrigation, Bauer Hard Hose Reel Irrigation, and both Rain Bird and Nelson sprinkler systems. With a collective experience of over 200 years, our irrigation experts offer customized water management and irrigation solutions for agricultural farms throughout Ontario. We also stock a wide array of irrigation application products from several renowned global manufacturers.