The most economical and basic way of sprinkler irrigation, the system consists of above-ground quick-coupling pipes manufactured from lightweight steel and galvanised. Sprinklers and/or riser pipes are connected directly to the pipes or by means of various saddles.
Usually a mainline is placed in the centre of the field with 2 or 3 sprinkler lines to be moved 2 or 3 times daily. After a certain period the pump is switched off and the pipes and sprinklers moved to the next position in the field.
Less labour intensive than flood irrigation. Three labourers can cover 20ha in a total moving time of 4 hours per day.
The dragline system consists of a mainline with fixed or portable laterals. A flexible dragline hose (20 or 25mm diameter) connects a tripod stand, mounted with a sprinkler, to the lateral. Portable laterals are moved once each stand has completed its positions. One hose and sprinkler can usually cover 3, 5 or 7 positions from a lateral.
Less labour required than for a quick-coupling system, usually one labourer per 15ha.
No need to switch off pumps when sprinklers are moved.
With permanent laterals, no pipes are moved, only the tripods and sprinklers.
Dragline hoses have a 5 or 10 year lifespan.
The system has the lowest cost of all sprinkler systems
An innovative system that consists of a central mainline feeding a network of small-bore quickcoupling irrigation pipes. One or two sprinklers “hop along” on the lateral from one outlet point to the next. The versatility of the system and its comparatively low cost make this an attractive option with various crops.
Requires less labour than a quick-coupling system - one labourer for 30ha.
These systems are hydraulically driven by water or diesel powered engines. Because they operate automatically, labour is only required to move the irrigators. Field sizes and layout may be restricted in different ways because of operational requirements. More detail on each type may be found in the product section.