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A farmer has to exploit every patch land on his farm to the maximum. It is not part of a farmer’s character to waste anything, especially not something as valuable as power, water or land. Reinke agrees with the farmer and endeavour at all times to assist her/him to irrigate effectively and with cost-efficiency.
Reinke is the world’s biggest privately owned irrigation company. This American company has been in the process of expanding to Africa over the past number of years. The first supplies arrived in their new warehouse in Durban in August 2017. This warehouse is used to stockpile supplies for Reinke’s clients in Africa.
Wikus van Niekerk of Alwee Boerdery near Potchefstroom grows seed maize, dry beans, wheat and fodder sorghum under irrigation. Similar to many other farmers Wikus experienced problems with odd corners of land between his existing centre pivots. Together these odd pieces aggregated to enough land where three 18 hectare centre pivots could be fitted in. “I own the water rights on that land and I simply had to make better use of it,” says Wikus.
Wikus considered many irrigation systems before he decided to buy Reinke centre pivot machines. Finally the price made the difference. “I calculated the cost in rand/hectare and Reinke proved to be very best. I could also not find fault with Reinke’s service delivery,” says Wikus.
“I ordered the three centre pivots from the warehouse in Durban in October 2019 and all three were erected within a week. The gearboxes and the whole structure carry excellent guarantees but I have not experienced a single day’s problems with any of these machines.”
However, a centre pivot does not work without the necessary efficient water and electricity supply. This means that trenches have to be dug from the pump to the tower for the water supply line, and the same applies for electric cables. The Reinke team is involved in the whole process – from the planning and design up to the erection and after-sales service. This enables Reinke to design a system that will comply with the unique requirements of every irrigation farmer.
Reinke centre pivots are known for their robust structure manufactured from light but strong material. “That is one of the reasons why it is no great chore to erect one of the Reinke centre pivots. The machines are less cumbersome than many others, yet with a solid frame,” says Wikus.
“Another important advantage of the Reinke centre pivots is that the overhang at the end of the water feed pipe is not supported by cables but sturdy steel rods are used to fit the overhang pipe. This results in a much sturdier structure as the end pipe has much less movement when water is pumped through it, resulting in altogether less tension on the structure as a whole. Furthermore the towers are designed in such a manner that most of the tension that is normally absorbed by the pipeline, is now diverted to the towers. This system extends the life of the centre pivot and results in less maintenance to the components of the assembly.”
Wikus decided on the most basic control boxes for the three pivots on his farm, but even the basic units contribute towards less work for the farmer. “The pivots switch on automatically when the correct water pressure is reached, and will also switch off when the pressure drops,” explains Wikus. “This ensures that no water or power is wasted. It also leads to time-saving as I only have to activate the pump and the machine will start moving and irrigating only when the correct pressure is reached.”
“My pivots are still under warranty but it has not been required to use it in the past season as I believe in reading and understanding the instructions. Consequently I make sure that the gearboxes are filled with clean oil at the beginning of the season. By doing this one knows that nothing can go wrong”.
The Reinke approach is to ensure that the farmer utilises his land – and his money – to the maximum by designing an irrigation system that will suit the specific farm and farmer like a glove.
Enquiries can be directed to Patrick Ellis, director of Reinke South Africa, by telephoning +27(0)31-350-4525, or by sending an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.