Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Commercial Sprinkler System at Savera Farms

For this year, one of our goals was to install a sprinkler based system for our short term crop. At this time, we are under pilot for 4 acres of CO4 fodder and high density Moringa (leaves) using sprinkler system as the primary irrigation delivery.

Earlier in the year we had inter-cropped CO4 grass within our Mango plots with wide spacing. This impacted our Mango plants due to nitrogen deficiency created by CO4. Although our inter-cropping was 'experts approved' no one advised us of the nitrogen deficiency CO4 can cause. Since then we decided to separate the CO4 grass cultivation to prevent further impact to our Mango plots.

As part of increasing our short term crop portfolio, we decided to venture into Moringa leaf cultivation. Although the trade mostly comprises of traders and middle men, we feel encouraged by a recent spurt of processing units in India. We feel there is a good scope for expansion into Moringa leaves cultivation given its significant  health benefits and (slowly) growing acceptance &awareness. The biggest advantage is that it can be processed, packed and stored - unlike most short term crops. Note : Most buyers we got in touch with turned out to be brokers. Cultivators should establish contact and visit processing facilities of end customers during their crop planning phase.

During our plot design phase, we decided not to go for lateral based drip irrigation due to its high installation and maintenance cost. Inline and online drippers are often challenging to clean/unblock when dealing with intensive cultivation. Rain gun was considered but its limited irrigation area and high water pressure requirement was a deterrent. Eventually, we decided to implement a sprinkler based system. Low maintenance cost, fixed infrastructure (unlike rain gun that requires to be moved around) and uniform coverage were attractive features. Since we are still in pilot phase, the only disadvantage we can foresee is of water penetration into the soil. That may need to be mitigated by extending irrigation time. We hope once CO4 and Moringa take root, extensive watering will not be essential.

A view of the pilot plot after the sprinklers were installed. The sprinkler installation matrix is similar drippers but adjusted to crop, soil, irrigation and spacing considerations.

We took advantage of a recent bout of summer monsoons to disc plough the moist plots. 
Healthy red soil, post ploughing..


Finally, the sprinkler test in progress!

We have recently started with the sprinkler systems and are expecting a learning curve. Are there any cultivators which have hand-on experience with the setup, maintenance and usage of commercial grade sprinkler systems? I am sure all of us can benefit from hands-on experts ..:)

13 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Are these sprinklers connected directly to borewell? If yes what is the yeild of borewell and capacity of pump.

    If you are pumping from ground level reservoier what is the make and capacity of pump.

    How many sprinklers are connected to a single pump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they are connected to a borewell (5hp pump) with a yield of 200+ LPM. 16 sprinklers are controlled by 1 valve.

      Delete
  3. since you are planning for high density moringa leaf ,is sprinklar is suitable for moringa especially leaf production coz moringa leaf resist to water may be i am wrong ,but i read from som website

    ReplyDelete
  4. sir, its very useful if u give break up of different componets and cost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depending on material used, design and quality of products, it should cost you 20-25,000 per acre.

      Delete
  5. Whats is per acre yeald of CO4 per cutting? and how many cutting you get for year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can expect to harvest every 65-75 days..

      Delete
  6. http://www.sfacindia.com/index.html
    A govt initiative to support agriprenuers. This will be useful if you are planning to set up a marketing outfit for your and other farmers produce, this institute will support with equity capital.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your way to enlighten everything on this blog is actually pleasant, everyone manage to efficiently be familiar with it, Thanks a great deal. construction

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, You have mentioned this as pilot so how is it going now? Any issues? I am also planning CO4 but it costs so much when drip laterals are used as the gap is just 1.5 ft between rows. Please share your feedback.

    ReplyDelete