Herefordshire-based irrigation system designer and developer, Wells Rain, is aiming to help reduce crop damage and improve installation and removal with its new, reel-able solid set irrigation system.
The system steers away from traditional aluminium pipes, and instead uses flexible polythene pipes which are reeled out down the row after planting using the Wells Rain reeler. Once the pipe is laid, one metre metal sprinkler uprights are then installed and connected to the pipe manually.
The firm says under average conditions, two workers can install or reel in pipes to cover 11 hectares (27 acres) in an eight hour day.
When the crop is ready for harvest or the system needs to be moved, the metal uprights and sprinklers are removed manually, then the polythene pipes are reeled up with the reeler from the edge of the field. As the pipe is reeled in, it is strapped up so it can be taken to the next field for use or stacked flat for safe storage, says the manufacturer.
In addition, all the heavy work is done from the edge of the field and the crop is not damaged by the removal of the pipe.
Another big advantage of the system, says Wells Rain, is that it can use the existing irrigation equipment infrastructure, such as high volume pump and delivery main. It also allows the farmer to maximise pump capacity by just opening as many lines as required.
Prices for the system vary depending on pipe size and length, with pipes available in diameters of 50mm and 63mm.