Conduct Irrigation Maintenance Now

Jim Rogers Irrigation

By Clint Thompson

Irrigation Maintenance
Photo courtesy of UF/IFAS: Fertigation unit for small acreage.

Specialty crop producers should conduct any maintenance of their irrigation systems now before the upcoming spring planting season begins. It’s better to deal with any potential problems now than mid-season, says Wes Porter, University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension precision agriculture and irrigation specialist.

“Some of our vegetable guys may be irrigating now with their fall and now winter crops that are coming in. It’s a perfect time to check those (systems) before we get into full swing with our spring crops,” Porter said. “Same thing with our drip systems, make sure that our pumps are working. We’re more apt, depending on what our water source is, to stop those systems up. We may be running discs or sand filters, so it’s a good time to clean those filters out. Most of the time your vegetable guys are running fertigation. It’s a perfect time to check that pump and make sure it’s calibrated, check the fertilizer lines and make sure there’s no leaks or issues there.

“We’re not going to prevent all breakdowns. But anything preventative we can do now will help us potentially alleviate some problems down the road.”