Irrigating crops that grow to different heights can be a challenge when it comes to getting nozzle height set just right. Valley Irrigation is offering a new sprinkler application option for growers who rotate crops of varying heights. The AquaDock drop hose docking stations support two ground clearances in one drop hose assembly.
It’s easy for growers to change drop hose height from the ground using a lift pole to place the sprinkler head into the docking station. The system can be included in a new pivot, or retrofitted to existing systems.
Dale Shelton, Pasco, Wash., is the grower who invented the AquaDock, which will be marketed solely by Valley. He notes: “With traditional drop hoses, we noticed dry rings in the corn crops; causing uneven crop growth and yield. Using the AquaDock has allowed us to eliminate those dry rings and apply fertilizer evenly to produce uniform crop growth and yields in our fields.”
He explains that wrapping hoses took time in the past, but with AquaDock he can hang hoses in a fraction of the time and do it from the ground. This allows growers to tailor water application to varying crop clearances without compromising uniformity or efficiency – two essential elements in yield an profit, according to Jerry Gerdes, product manager for water application, Valley Irrigation.
Gerdes says it is not just uniformity but water application efficiency too. “With lower crops you get more efficiency with lower sprinklers. The greater the distance between the crop and the sprinkler, the less efficient due to evaporation and wind drift,” he says.
AquaDock is available for new machines and for retrofitting existing pivots. Docking stations can be mounted directly to the U-pipe or they can clamp around the span. The span clamp version can prevent span cable theft, Shelton says. “We have experienced span cable theft off pivots in the past…by installing the span cable clamp version in those areas, we have not had a problem since.
The system is available exclusively through Valley Irrigation dealers. Learn more at valleyirrigation.com.