What is in this article?:
- Winterize irrigation systems to kick-start 2012 crop season
- Purging system with air
• Inspection of the system now allows you to make improvements and repairs in the less costly off season and get irrigation problems out of the way for spring planting season when everyone is busy.
Purging system with air
This is typically done by purging the system with air or modifying a fertilizer transfer pump to pump the system at its lowest outlet or inlet points.
Remember to cap all pipe inlets and outlets to prevent rodents from entering.
Drain the pumping plant
Drain pumps and manifold to the lowest point they can hold water. Replace brass drain plugs if damaged. Well designed pumping installations will be easy to drain without stripping drain plug threads or the need of air purging.
Inspect gauges, supply and control wire for need of repair. Service engine with attention to engine oil, bearing and seal lubrication. Check cooling system for adequate anti-freeze level and concentration.
Drain fuel tank to reduce water accumulation in fuel tank and potential theft.
Inspect and lock down electrical power supplies
Locking down electrical power supplies helps prevent vandals from turning wells and pivots on mid-winter and minimizes potential electrical system damage.
Inspect each electrical box in the system from power supply to the last pivot or disconnect on the system line for damage and holes that may be access for rodents.
Now is an excellent time to inspect grounding system and test resistance.
Create a winter work list for each system
While it is fresh in your memory, list the improvement and repairs needed for each system. As you are inspecting and winterizing your system, add any other areas needing attention to the list of repairs needed.
Assign the repair to someone whether it is your people or the local irrigation dealer repair crew, the sooner it gets into the plan the better and more efficient it can be.
For more irrigation management information visit our website at www.msue.msu.edu/stjoseph.