With droughts stretching on in much of the nation, water management has actually become a primary issue for many operations. One of the methods that growers can reduce their water use and end up being more effective is with the installation of an irrigation boom. But is a boom system right for your operation?
The Greenhouse Management group talked with Walter Drummond, the sales manager for Cherry Creek Systems, a manufacturer of greenhouse automation products, about the ins and outs of an irrigation boom system.
Greenhouse Management: Exactly what are the benefits of an irrigation boom system?
Walter Drummond: The immediate idea, that comes to mind, is that you lower the requirementhave to hand water; which is the old-school way of irrigating. Setting up a boom will certainly likewise remove the requirement for more archaic technologies like sprinklers. Booms give you a lot of control over when and how you water your crops. It also allows you to fertigate and irrigate, fertigation being when you use certain chemicals or treatments or fertilizers to the plants through the boom itself.
GM: Do you suggest a specific established or structure for boom installation?
WD: We do not suggest a specific structure. We can develop an option for a lot of situations, sans perhaps space. Typically, the most typical boom we sell is to a stick-built, gutter-connected greenhouse with overhead trusses or posts that live on the side of the walls that we can connect our boom system to ride along. In cases where we have outdoor growers, we make Ground Runner booms or Sky-rail booms. In those scenarios, we actually construct a support structure from whatever for the system to take a trip along.
GM: Exactly what is the average life time of an irrigation boom system?
WD: Im the sales manager and Ive jokingly asked the engineers to develop in obsolescence due to the fact that often I go out and see 30 years of age systems (laughs).
We depend on brand-new builds for business and fortunately the market has actually thrived. Greenhouses frequently go the method of the economy. If individuals are succeeding, they want quite plants in front of their houses; thats goodgreat for me and its excellenthelpful for greenhouses. If the economy is in a downturn, plants are a product. Theyre not a necessity. And if less individuals are buying plants, then growers do not requirehave to grow them, and if theyre not growing they require less devices.
GM: What are some of the typical repairs that systems require?
WD: There are, by virtue of the fact that these are moving machines, exactly what I call pulps: polymer parts or plastic parts or electrical wiring, which are the most typical repairs. The parts of the boom that are moving, anything thats caught in the moving function, will put on faster than other parts. The polymer or plastic parts tend to be the most usual repair work.
GM: How does an irrigation boom alter a growers needs?
WD: Prior to, you may have a guy strolling around with a hose that had an extension on it, hand watering each person plant. Now we have systems like the Echo which is an overhead basket system that permits you to have more growing space. And it prettypractically looks after itself; set the program and it operates on its own. Now, you have one grower managing all these overhead baskets. I sell them in lots of sometimes 30 or 40 systems at a time and each system could handle 800 plants. Then were talking 32,000 plants that are managed by one personsomeone versus a group of, state, 10 or 15 people working 8 hours a day. It can truly lower your workers needs and the demands on your personnel.
GM: How can booms assistassist with water management?
WD: In the past, weve utilized the booms to transmit spray water over plants, which still saves water versus a sprinkler system. You can lose a percentage of your water via dissipation in the air when you use sprinklers. Our booms are more detailed to the medium and they spray directly down to the plant. You do not lose water in the air and its directed in the direction of the plant. Weve advanced the innovation much more now. Depending upon the application we can water from pot-to-pot. We have, exactly what we call, a lock line that waters directly into the pot the precise amount of water that you want during that plant. And it goes one-by-one, which practically removes any waste.
Now, its not constantly relevant, you cant constantly utilize it. But when suitable, you save a substantial quantity of water simply due to the fact that you have higher control over whats happening at the plant.
GM: How do you seem your market developing?
WD: Our company is a niche business. Were dealing with plants and plants require water. You don’t have a lot of fluctuation. Weve improved the innovation behind the booms to make ease of use and scheduling better. But whats taking place at the boom and with the plant is the very same thing thats been taking place for 100 years. Increasingly more people are attempting to cut expenses because you have to conserve money to make moneyearn money, in regards to manufacturing. So, in mostin many cases, that indicates you need to automate. We feel thats where the development is, the sector thats asking How can we do this for a lot less money however still produce a premium item?