Advantages and Disadvantages of Centre Pivot Irrigation
The center pivot or water wheel is also called circle irrigation system. The center pivot is an equipment that rotates around a pivot. It has a set of sprinklers used for irrigating crops.
One of the main advantages of center pivot irrigation is the ability of the centre pivot to irrigate crops and ensure all year round farming. The main disadvantage is the relatively high cost of acquisition of a center pivot irrigation system.
The center pivot is just a group of sprinklers set on a motorized equipment with the aim of wetting crops while it rotates in a circular way. The newer center pivots are powered by electricity, the older types are powered by the force and pressure of water flowing through them.
The Advantages of Using a Center Pivot Irrigation System
The following are the advantages of center pivot irrigation:
Precise Application of Water
The center pivot irrigation system applies water to exactly where it is needed on the farm. This reduces the risk of runoffs and erosion. This type of irrigation system also ensures good water infiltration into the soil.
Savings in Labour Needs
The center pivot significantly reduces the need for human labour for irrigation schedules. The high automated nature of the center pivot ensures that a single person can irrigate large acreages of farmland without the need for a lot of human intervention.
The average lifespan of a center pivot is 20 years. If you use a centre pivot irrigation system, you are not likely to replace it for 20 years. This can significantly reduce the cost of operations in a farm.
The application of fertilizer through an irrigation system is called Fertigation. The use of centre pivots allow for the use of Fertigation for applying nutrients to plants. Fertigation can significantly increase the yield of crop.
Low Operation and Maintenance Cost
Center pivots are quite rugged. They can be used for several months or years without a need for maintenance. The low operating and maintenance cost of center pivots is one of the merits of using this type of irrigation system.
The Disadvantages of Using a Center Pivot Irrigation System
The following are the disadvantages of center pivot irrigation:
High Cost of Acquisition
The cost of acquisition of a center pivot irrigation system is usually high. A single center pivot in Nigeria can be priced as high as N30 million. This is one of the demerits of using a center pivot.
High Energy Requirement
The center pivot needs power like electricity. The KW of electricity needed by the center pivot irrigation system is usually high, this can be expensive.
Technical Knowhow Needed
The center pivot is a complex type of irrigation system. The technical knowhow needed to operate the center pivot may not be easy to come by.
The advantages of using a center pivot irrigation system far outweigh the disadvantages of using the center pivot system.