Rain gun irrigation, also known as sprinkler irrigation, is a modern method that utilizes high-pressure water jets to simulate natural rainfall on the crops. Rain guns are used for irrigating large field areas at once. The guns irrigate the land with minimum labor and electricity requirements. While using rain gun irrigation, pests, and insects get washed away. The adjustable jet breaker allows droplet size & impact adjustment facility for delicate crops.
Components of Rain Gun Irrigation
Rain gun irrigation systems comprise several essential components that work together to deliver water to crops effectively.
- Rain Gun – The rain gun, also known as a sprinkler or water cannon, is the central component of the system. It consists of a nozzle that generates a high-pressure water jet capable of covering large areas. Rain guns are typically made of durable materials such as metal or high-quality plastic.
- Pump – A pump is employed to create the necessary pressure for water delivery. Depending on the scale of the irrigation system, pumps can range from electric-powered to diesel-powered, ensuring a steady water supply.
- Pipes and Fittings – A network of pipes and fittings distributes water from the pump to the rain gun. These pipes are usually made of PVC or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and are designed to withstand high water pressure.
- Control System – Rain gun irrigation systems may feature a control system that automates the operation and ensures precise control over water distribution. These systems can be programmed to irrigate at specific times or adapt to changing weather conditions.
How Rain Gun Irrigation Works
Rain gun irrigation operates on a straightforward principle. Water is pumped through the pipes and delivered to the rain gun, which releases high-pressure jets of water. These jets are dispersed into the air, simulating rainfall over the desired area. The angle and intensity of the water spray can be adjusted to suit specific crop requirements.
Suitable Crops for Rain Gun Irrigation
Rain gun irrigation is suitable for a wide range of crops, including field crops, orchards, vineyards, and vegetable gardens. It is particularly beneficial for crops that require overhead irrigation and have relatively large spacing between plants. Some crops that can benefit from rain gun irrigation include;
- Horticulture. cabbage, spinach, kale, carrot, onion, garlic, strawberry, and pineapple
- Broad-acre crops. wheat, barley, canola, sugarcane, and corn/ maize
- Fruit orchards. citrus, avocado, macadamia, papaya, guava, mango, tree tomato, and passion
- Forestry. seedlings and mature trees
- Pasture crop. lucerne, Rhode grass5, and all other pasture grass
- Herbs. mint, lemongrass, geranium, tagete, and so on
- Hedge plants. kei apple, bougainvillea, cypress
How to install the rain gun
The following steps should be taken when you want to install a rain gun sprinkler on your farm.
- Buy the rain gun from an accredited dealer or vendor such as Mazero Agrifood Ltd. Never buy a cheap rain gun, you may be running the risk of buying a substandard product.
- Develop your source of water. A water reservoir is needed for a rain gun. You cannot use a borehole or well for your rain gun. If you want to use a borehole or well, you will need to have a water reservoir.
- Get a water pump and lay a suitable pipe or hose across your farmland. The pipes or hoses should serve as the main line and the sub main line.
- Install the rain gun tripod on the farmland. The tripod should be held firmly to the ground with the use of stakes or anchors.
- Use a wrench and other tools to connect the rain gun connector and the rain gun sprinkler together.
- Screw the rain gun sprinkler to the tripod stand.
- Connect the pipe or hose to the rain gun sprinkler.
- Pump water into the rain gun irrigation system and check if it is working as expected.
- You can adjust the angle of spraying of the rain gun by adjusting the pins on the rain gun.
Types of Rain Gun
Plastic Rain Gun
Plastic rain guns are types of rain guns manufactured with plastic materials. They usually rotate and spray droplets of water to crops. The plastic sprinklers usually have inlet pipe size diameters of half inch to 2 inches. Aside, the use of plastic sprinklers to irrigate crops, especially vegetable crops and grasses, they can also be used for the suppression of crops.
An impact sprinkler or rain gun is a type of rain gun whose sprinkler heads move in a 360 degree way. Impact sprinklers usually rotate in a complete circular way. They can also be adjusted to rotate in angles of 45, 90 and 180 degrees. Center pivots usually have a set of impact sprinklers.
Flamingo Rain Gun
The Flamingo rain gun is a type of rain gun that sprays water to plants. This type of rain gun has an inlet pipe size of 1.5 inch.
Meganet Rain Gun
Meganet rain gun is a type of rain gun that is used for disrupting the activities of insects on plants. They spray pressurized insects like whiteflies. The Meganet sprinkler can also be used to increase the humidity in a greenhouse. One of the functions of this type of sprinkler is for the enhancement of seeds germination.
Alloy and Brass Rain Gun Sprinkler
Alloy rain gun sprinklers are manufactured with alloy while brass rain guns are made of brass. Alloy rain guns are of high quality to brass rain guns. The alloy and brass rain guns are used for crop irrigation.
Advantages of Rain Gun Irrigation
- The rain gun provides much needed water during the dry season. This means that farmers who thought that they cannot grow their crops in the dry season can do so with the use of rain guns. The rain guns mimic the effects of the rains as it sprays water to the surfaces of the plants and the soil.
- The rain gun can be used to apply pesticides and foliar fertilizers to crops at a faster rate than using other types of sprayers. The application of pesticides can reduce the risk of plants getting infected with pests and diseases. This can go a long way in improving crop yield.
- The effects of the water spraying of the rain guns improve the availability of atmospheric nitrogen to plants. Nitrogen is one of the major or macro-nutrients used by plants. Nitrogen impacts photosynthesis and plays a huge role in the vegetative growth of plants.
- The rain guns can also be used to apply some types of herbicides. Herbicides can be used to effectively manage weeds on the farm.
- The use of rain gun sprinklers can reduce the need for laborers for wetting of crops. The reduction of labour needs will lead to a reduction in labour cost and improvement in profits for farmers.
- The rain guns can also be used to control insects like the white flies. Water sprays from the rain guns can disrupt the growth cycle of the white flies. White flies are diseases carrying vectors, they can ruin crops and reduce yield to near zero.
Disadvantages of Rain Gun Irrigation
- The installation cost of rain gun irrigation systems can be relatively high, considering the required components such as pumps, pipes, fittings, and rain guns. However, the long-term benefits often outweigh this initial investment.
- Depending on the size of the system and the pump used, rain gun irrigation can consume a significant amount of energy, leading to higher operational costs.
- Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure optimal performance of the system. Components such as filters, nozzles, and pumps require periodic cleaning and replacement to prevent clogging and ensure consistent water distribution.
- High wind speeds can affect the accuracy of water distribution by altering the spray pattern and causing uneven coverage. Windbreaks or adjustments in the spray pattern can help mitigate this issue.
Rain gun irrigation systems have revolutionized crop irrigation, offering numerous benefits over traditional methods. With their efficient water usage, flexibility, and potential for increased crop yield, rain gun systems are an attractive option for farmers. While the initial investment and energy consumption may pose challenges, the long-term advantages make rain gun irrigation a valuable addition to modern agriculture. By harnessing the power of high-pressure water jets, rain gun irrigation is helping farmers around the world optimize their irrigation practices and cultivate healthy, thriving crops. For high quality rain guns and installation services, contact Mazero Agrifood Ltd on +254729777711.