A number of management decisions are based on the annualized costs of owning and operating an irrigation system. Before developing land for irrigation, the first decision should be to determine whether the irrigation system will be economically feasible. In other words, Will the net income from the increased yields achieved by irrigation development exceed the additional ownership and operating costs of owning and operating the irrigation system over the expected life of the various system components.
After deciding to proceed with irrigation development, one is faced with many alternative design choices, including selection of which energy source to use for pumping the irrigation water, the type of distribution system, etc.
The IrrigateCost app models center pivot and gated pipe irrigation systems and the most commonly used energy sources on separate tabs making side to side comparisons between alternatives possible.
When computing a fair crop-share rental arrangement, one procedure is to list all the contributions that are required for crop production in a table (land, irrigation system, machinery, labor, crop inputs, etc.). Next to each input listed, the contribution each party is making is shown in adjacent columns; one for the landowner and one for the tenant. The columns are tallied and the percentage of the total cost that each party is contributing is calculated. The “fair” rental arrangement would be to divide the crop on the same percentage as the contributions that each party has made. Alternately, after the initial listing is done, changes are sometimes made in the percentage the two parties contribute toward certain inputs until contributions match a pre-determined crop share arrangement (e.g. 60/40 or 50/50).
The costs of owning and operating the irrigation system are some of the most difficult to identify when analyzing irrigated crop share arrangements. Much of the total cost of irrigation results from ownership costs and a large percentage of ownership costs are not annual out-of-pocket costs but rather are sunk costs, such as return on capital investment, depreciation, and taxes and insurance.
A complicating factor in some rental agreements results from who owns the various components. In some cases, the landowner may furnish the entire irrigation system; in other cases the landowner may furnish the well, pump and gear head; while the tenant may furnish the power unit and/or the distribution system. A need therefore exists for the analyst to easily estimate the ownership and operating costs for each major component in various irrigation systems so each party is credited with a fair estimate of the contribution he/she is making.
The data and formulas behind this app were developed by UNL Extension Educator Emeritus, Thomas W. Dorn, who most recently served in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Lancaster County Office. He initially developed this data for an Excel spreadsheet (IRRIGCOST)
Next, note the meter reading at the beginning of a time period (for example, when you turn the irrigation motor on) and at the end (for example, when the pivot has completed a circle). Enter only the numbers visible on the totalizer (rolling numbers, no decimals). If your meter totalizer has rolled over, you may need to enter a 1 in front of the ending reading to make the calculations work.
The app will calculate the amount of water applied to the given field over the given time period.
The app allows you to -
• control multiple HydraWise units from the one app
• configure watering schedules and zones
• configure flow, rain and soil moisture sensors
• view watering and rainfall reports
• view watering schedules and history
• manually run (or suspend) individual irrigation zones
• view forecast and current weather conditions
This app requires a free account at http://hydrawise.com. To actually turn your sprinklers on or off remotely a HydraWise irrigation controller is required - this can be purchased from the HydraWise website.
With a HydraWise Irrigation Controller you can -
• save water by automatically adjust watering schedules based on local weather (rainfall, wind, temperature, humidity)
• control the system from anywhere in the world
• water more when it is hot, water less when it is cold or has rained
• get reports on watering history, rainfall and temperatures
• manage multiple irrigation controllers from the one login
Like other Trimble® products, the app works well with many brands of irrigation systems which provide a flexible solution for farm managers worldwide. If you already have the Irrigate-IQ™ service enabled, simply download the app and enter your login information. In case you are not a customer yet, a demo function is available to explore the features provided before subscribing to the service.
• Monitor the following tasks:
o Status (on/off)
o Material applied (water/effluent/fertigation)
• Control the following tasks:
o Variable rate irrigation prescriptions or schedule
o Pivot controls (on/off, direction)
App Support: Go to http://www.connectedfarm.com/help/irrigate
Please note that the SmartLink Remote App can only be used with SmartLink-enabled Weathermatic SmartLine Controllers. To find out more, visit Weathermatic.com.
- View the status of your SmartLine Controllers
- View geographic location of your SmartLine Controllers
- Run programs remotely
- Run zones remotely
- Send Global Commands to multiple controllers simultaneously