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Welcome rains offer a chance to get our farm irrigation system fixed

Kyle Stackhouse 2

July 19, 2019

2 Min Read
Irrigation pivot
A wind storm flipped a new pivot shortly before planting, and a tree grabbed the end of another one. Kyle Stackhouse

Well, it’s Thursday afternoon already. I was wondering if I would have time to get this written, but there are rain clouds and lightning here for the first time in a while. That precludes me from doing the two things that have been my constant activity for the last couple of weeks: spraying and irrigation. Hopefully this rain will be significant.

I start spraying in the early morning and try to be done with my list by noon or two. The plants are more receptive to absorb herbicides as well as plant food. They aren’t showing too much stress in the morning. The plan would be to go back out in the evening and spray another load or two, but that hasn’t been working out. I didn’t make rain-fast on the last stuff I sprayed today, but I’ll be glad to respray. We really need this rain, to the point that I was questioning if plants were growing and if herbicides were even going to work.

Irrigation fixes

After I get done spraying for the day, I then go to work fixing or running irrigation. (Are we the only ones who never seem to get some of the little things done that we had meant to do during the offseason?)

This year it has been a lot of mickey-mouse stuff: a pressure switch here, a solenoid valve there. Other issues like underground wire faults and broken water line are more of a nuisance.

We have had a couple of even larger snafus. A wind storm flipped a new pivot shortly before planting, and a tree grabbed the end of another one.

Repairing the end boom the tree caught wasn’t too bad of a deal. The wind-wrecked pivot was totaled. The good thing is that it was new, never used. The insurance company wasn’t able to depreciate it as they often try to do.

Most of the irrigation companies have a policy where they move storm wrecked orders to the front of the line. The machine was here within a couple of weeks. The struggle was getting it put back up. First the wreckage had to be cleared, then the new machine built. Add in the wet spring, planting, spraying, etc., and it took a while.

Last night I walked the pivot around the field for the first time. Clearing all the obstacles, I put water to it and let it run.

Hopefully this rain will mitigate some of the heat forecast for today. Tonight we are taking the kids to the Porter county fair to see Darcy Lynne perform her ventriloquist act.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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