Darrington Seward, Producer, Automated Irrigation

Report
Automated Irrigation Systems
2014 Mississippi Delta Irrigation Summit
December 10, 2014
Stoneville, MS
Darrington Seward, Producer
Paul B. Rodrigue, NRCS, Supervisory
Engineer, Area IV (Delta)
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
(Disclaimer: Trade names/products/suppliers are used solely to provide specific information and for instructional
purposes. Mention of a trade name does not constitute a guarantee of the product by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture or any other agency or individual nor does it imply endorsement by the Department or the Natural
Resources Conservation Service over comparable products that are not named.)
NRCS F/A for Irrigation Automation
- 2/5 irrigation History
- verified by 2014 permit coverage for FY15
(you can check your coverage at this meeting with YMD)
Automated Irrigation Systems
Pump/Equipment
- timers
- float switches
- surge valves
- remote monitoring
- remote control
- center pivot
Irrigation Decision
- soil moisture sensors
- weather data
- scheduling program
Automated Irrigation Systems
- Utilize weather station data and/or moisture sensor data to determine
when and for how long to water crops. Sensors are placed into the
ground to monitor soil moisture and connected to a control system.
- The control system can use real-time data from the sensor or a combination
of inputs to determine irrigation time and amount. The sensor tells
the computer how much moisture there is in the soil, which
determines if water is required.
- Automated systems typically save on labor, yet tend to be associated with
higher equipment costs.
- Though automated irrigation systems with moisture sensors and weather
stations are being more widely adopted, their cost-effectiveness
largely depends on the crop in question and broader market forces.
Automated Irrigation Systems
On-Farm Weather Stations: Rainfall, temperature, humidity, soil moisture, etc.
- irrigation scheduling program
Center Pivot – automation designed in (F/A)
- key is adequate water (0.30 in/day capability)
- soil infiltration capability must be adequate (soil health)
Furrow - pump automation (timer) (F/A)
- pump monitoring & control (F/A)
- surge valves (automated cut-back scheme) (soil health) (F/A)
- soil moisture sensors w/telemetry (F/A)
Flood
- pump automation (F/A)
- pump monitoring & control (F/A)
- water level sensors (F/A)
Aquaculture
- pump automation (F/A)
- pump monitoring & control (F/A)
- water level sensors (automated 6/3 method) (F/A)
- split pond (F/A)
Tailwater Recovery/On-farm storage - pump automation (F/A)
- pump monitoring & control (F/A)
- water level sensors (F/A)
533 – Pump Automation
BASIC
- The power unit can be stopped based upon a timer, water level sensor,
or other IWM type device (typically does not apply to Center Pivots).
INTERMEDIATE
- Remote Start or Stop is required for ALL Intermediate Pump Automation.
This system requires telemetry.
_____ Diesel Engine Control/Monitoring ( 533 Intermediate required)
- The power unit can be stopped or started remotely.
- The RPM can be monitored remotely.
- Engine shutdown times can be set to occur automatically.
- Alert criteria can be set that provides specific conditions in which to shut
down the engine and/or notify the operator of problems on their
cell phone or other identified electronic device (e.g. tablet).
- Monitoring of other power unit parameters - dashboard (rpm, energy
consumption, oil pressure, etc.). 2 or more unit parameters must
be monitored.
(Electric requirements similar)
533 – Pump Automation
ADVANCED
- Remote Start and Stop is required for ALL Advanced Pump Automation.
This system requires telemetry.
_____ Diesel Engine Control/Monitoring ( 533 Advanced required)
- The power unit can be stopped and started remotely.
- The RPM can be monitored and changed remotely.
- Engine shutdown times can be set to occur automatically.
- Alert criteria can be set that provides specific conditions in which to
shut down the engine and/or notify the operator of problems on their
cell phone or other identified electronic device (e.g. tablet).
- Monitoring of other power unit parameters - dashboard (rpm, energy
consumption, oil pressure, center pivot location, etc.). 3 or more
unit parameters must be monitored.
Electric requirements similar.
533 – Pump Automation
Electric Motors
Variable Frequency Drive/Soft Start:
- The control system shall be designed utilizing proven technology in
control design for constant pressure, constant flow rate, or a combination
of flow and pressure ranges to provide the desired operating conditions
of the pumping system.
This technology has several different names:
Variable-Speed Drive (VSD)
Adjustable-Speed Drive (ASD)
Adjustable-Frequency Drive (AFD)
Frequency Converter
Inverter (a term used by manufacturers)
Relatively new: discuss with your local electric supplier first.
442 – Sprinkler
- systems to monitor flow, pressure,
position, operation, system security
( Intermediate or Advanced Pump
Automation)
- use in conjunction with soil
moisture sensors
443 – Surge Valves
- Surge valve and controller: automated cut-back scheme
- to decrease tailwater requirement,
increase opportunity time for infiltration
(3 siphon tubes, then 2 tubes, then 1 tube)
Systems are pre-programmed with
some operator adjustability.
Picture credit: growingmagazine.com
- use in conjunction with soil
moisture sensors
587 – Flowmeters
- fixed or portable flowmeter
- manual read
- recording
- telemetry (typically used as part of 533- Advanced Pump
Automation)
Example of soil moisture sensor with telemetry. Long term record.
Example of long term water level record on reservoir.
Example of Tailwater Pit monitoring and Automatic/Remote Operation
Consider Fall-Winter Soil Moisture Monitoring to see how the soil profile
replenishes. Don’t wait till irrigation season starts to think about your soil moisture
profile.
GOSSYM/COMAX
Ahead of its time
is a mechanistic cotton growth model and expert system that simulates cotton
growth given selected weather, soil, and management practices. Management
options include fertilizer and irrigation strategies. GOSSYM operates on daily time
steps and calculates material balances for water and nitrogen using weather and
soil data to predict crop growth and crop yield. The model also calculates material
balances and soil nitrogen uptake.
Key Input: Soil moisture and bulk density for each soil horizon, and
weather data (temperature, wind speed, solar radiation, and humidity).
Then: Back then emphasis was on yield prediction.
Now: emphasis on plant water stress, soil moisture levels, irrigation scheduling
Today’s technology/automation, makes similar efforts more feasible today.
QUESTIONS
Thank you for your diligent, hard work and efforts on
behalf of the Delta’s Resource Concerns!
Natural Resources Conservation Service

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