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Ingenious water usage in South Africa has never before been as important as at present. The drought of the past years has left its mark and all farmers have once again realised how important it is to use water efficiently.
Ocmis travelling irrigators, marketed by Irrigation Unlimited, offers irrigation farmers all the advantages of long years of Italian technological development in water-propelled hose reel irrigators with systems that fit South African requirements to the tee. The only electricity needed, is to drive the pump at the water source. It requires only one person to set op the machine and move it to a new position.
This how it all began
Pipe reel irrigation technology was developed in France towards the end of the 1960s. The operating principle depends on harnessing water pressure to drive a gearbox which pulls in a trolley-mounted reel with the pipe and water cannon irrigator.
Ocmis embarked on the manufacturing of pipe reel irrigators in Italy in the 1990s. Today it is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of self-reeling pipe reel irrigators, and at present one of only eleven manufacturers in Italy.
The irrigators are imported to South Africa by Irrigation Unlimited. The company has an extensive spare parts facility and provides a complete service for the installation and maintenance of their Ocmis equipment.
This is how it operates
A trolley with a pipe reel is parked one the one side or in the middle of the land at a water point. The beginning of the pipe is connected to a trolley with a water cannon or a beam sprayer. The trolley is then reeled in to the opposite side of the land, the water supply is opened and the flow drives a gearbox in the reel which rolls up the pipe. The pipe gradually pulls the trolley back to the starting point while irrigating a width, continuously spraying water. The speed at which the trolley is reeled in, can be adjusted to allow less or more water to be delivered during the run.
With the machine the farmer receives a full colour operating instruction manual which shows him/her the method of calibrating the machine’s water flow and pressure. The irrigator comes with a selection of nozzles determining drop size.
There are four models available in South Africa with pipe lengths from 130 to 300 metres, suitable to irrigate from three to 30 hectares per week (consult the above table).