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News and Notes
from the Field

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June 19, 2016
Let's Irrigate
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
Strong and dry winds, a missed rain event, and mid-90 degree heat forces us to extract water from our well for plants' water needs once again. We try to rely on irrigation as a last resort and this is one of those times. No serious rain is in the 10-day forecast which means we'll probably be irrigating for a while. Our 300-feet deep well and 1.5 horsepower pump provides about 75 gallons per minute of water. A few years ago we installed 3000 feet of 3 inch underground pipe with about 12 multi-head risers to more easily access water and keep necessary water pipes out of the way. The underground pvc pipes also reduce friction and pressure loss compared to the 2 inch flexible flat tubes that we previously had to use to move water long distances. Still, setting up and moving around drip tape, sprinklers, the water cannon, and tubing as well as all of the necessary connecting equipment means less time for other jobs and/or no time or days off (which is rare anyway this time of year). Spending time setting up all of the infrastructure feels like lateral movement and not necessarily progress towards the end of the season, but observing satisfactory results from the addition of water and subsequent higher crop yields makes it worthwhile.
Gabe watches as our rotating 100+ feet diameter water cannon irrigates the soon-to-be u-pick field that includes snap beans, edamame, and annual herbs.
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