16 Pros and Cons of Center Pivot Irrigation Systems

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Center pivot irrigation is a type of water management setup that delivers water to a circular area over a field. It relies on a long water pipe, tall towers, and wheels that allow the pipe to rotate around a central point. The guide below explores some of the advantages/benefits/pro of this approach.

Why Choose Center Pivot Irrigation?

1. Adjustable

Center pivot irrigation can deliver water at the rate of your choosing, from a height you set. This means you can configure your system at or even below the current level of the crops to ensure they receive proper hydration and adjust the height throughout their growth cycle.

2. Low Maintenance

A typical center pivot system lasts about 20 years and usually requires little maintenance during its life span. The system’s nozzles are designed to minimize clogging, and the entire rig runs automatically according to the settings you’ve chosen for duration and frequency.

3. Efficient

Because it delivers water as close to the ground as possible, a center pivot system minimizes the amount of water lost due to the wind. Furthermore, it distributes the water evenly, so there’s less risk of runoff.

4. Affordable

In addition to saving money on water, you’ll also lower your equipment costs. Pivot systems are less expensive than drip irrigation. In addition, with a few adjustments, they are useful for a wide range of crops, unlike other machines, which are less versatile.

5. Gentle

Runoff is not only costly over time, but it can erode the soil it passes through, making your fields less fertile. By reducing the chances of this happening, the center pivot system preserves soil quality and minimizes your need to add fertilizer.

11 Disadvantages/Cons/Drawbacks of center pivot irrigation:

  • Not suitable to irrigate a large rectangle or a square field
  • Unequal distribution of water and fertilizers
  • Irrigation efficiency is usually much lower
  • Crops sensitive to stream or crown wetting
  • Lack of aeration in the root zone
  • Wind affects the water distribution
  • Evaporation losses can be high
  • High labor requirements for some systems
  • Some soils may cause problems for continuous move systems
  • Plant disease can arise from wetting or salts in the water
  • Maintenance costs are relatively high