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Few scenes are as pleasing to the eye as a centre pivot irrigator doing what it is supposed to do: Following the contours on a field of ripening wheat. However, this was not always a scene possible for farmers on smaller farms, smallholdings, or for emerging farmers.
Reinke has now developed a mini centre pivot irrigator that can make all the difference for the smaller farmer between merely recovering his input costs and making a handy profit. The solution is a practical one and does not require breaking the bank!
Two problems causing the smaller farmer many headaches, are inadequate access to a dependable electricity supply (or expensive power) and low water pressure. Reinke’s solution for the smaller farmer is a small self-propelled irrigator – the EDMP (Engine Driven Mini Pivot), making it possible for the smallscale farmer to irrigate fodder for his livestock, or to irrigate a patch of maize behind the house. All he needs is a can of petrol to start the engine, and then he can stand back and see how his three hectares yield the same harvest as his commercial neighbour’s large fields.
He also has the option of investing in a towable centre pivot, making it pos sible to irrigate more than one smaller field with the same machine, or to move the machine around depending on seasonal requirements. The main advantage of the petroldriven centre pivot over the water-driven model is that water pressure need not be all that high.
The Mini Centre Pivot has no control panel, but it comes with a choice of gearboxes which determine the speed and thus the application rate of the water. The gearboxes come in low speed, standard speed, or high speed. Depending on the gearbox ratio, the pivot will move faster or slower at the same engine revolutions per minute.
The power driving the EDMP is a 4-kW petrol engine. Fitted with a 22,7-litre petrol tank, the pivot will run for at least 16 hours non-stop, even if the farmer runs the engine at full speed. However, when irrigating, it will not be necessary to run the engine at such a rate. The engine is protected against the elements with a steel cover.
The Reinke team of experts will advise the farmer on the correct span length, overhang length, wheel size, propulsion, and nozzle package. The Reinke team will erect the pivot on the farm, and the company can also supply the farmer with all his pump and pipe requirements.
Span lengths vary between 41,8 m to 65 m and overhang lengths from 12,8 m to 32 m. Altogether, the Mini Centre Pivot is never longer than 97 metres. The Mini is the latest in a full range of irrigation solutions offered to farmers by Reinke all the way from their Nebraska home in America, but here in South Africa, all the components, service and skills that the farmer may require, are available in a jiffy. The smaller centre pivots not only fill the gaps to better utilise the odd pieces of land on commercial farms, but can also make a telling difference in the efficiency with which the smaller farmer makes use of his land and water resources.
These systems can be used on any crop and will also facilitate labour cost savings. Maintenance of the centre pivot also presents no problem. The nozzles are not hidden between plants, as happens with other forms of irrigation. The farmer can see immediately when a nozzle does not perform correctly. This can be remedied easily, or the nozzle can be replaced. Because the centre pivot is smaller, it is erected quickly. No electricity is necessary. As long as water is available, the centre pivot can do its job.
Generally speaking, any Reinke centre pivot has a lifespan of at least 25 years. However, the first Reinke centre pivot was erected in 1986 and is still working. Should a farmer regularly do the required maintenance chores, the centre pivot can last for a lifetime.
The Mini Centre Pivot requires little or no water filtering. It is easy to ensure uniform water application. Water from a centre pivot falls similar to rain over the whole land profile, which promotes germination. It is also possible to fit a Mini Pivot with two sprayer packages – one for germination and one for growth.
With a dripper line system, which is normally seen as the alternative irrigation system, one regularly has to feed special chemicals through the piping to dissolve mineral concentrations that may clog the drippers, and to combat root damage to underground dripper
lines. With the Reinke system, none of these problems occur. Water application from above ensures uniform distri bution over the soil surface with salts that can be controlled by washing it out of the root zone. By using high-strength steel, the Reinke systems are made tough and dependable. For that reason, farmers worldwide have chosen Reinke irrigation systems for more than 60 years. A Reinke irrigator pays for itself over and over during its lifetime and ensures that your crops and lands will receive the correct quantity of water at the right time to help you harvest record yields.
To find out more, contact Patrick Ellis, director of Reinke South Africa, by phoning +27-(0)31-350-4525, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Agri4all.com for Reinke products to sell.