Larall Smart Hydrant
LOW APPLICATION RATE SYSTEM
Until now there have been irrigation systems that are great at some things but lack in other areas. The Larall Smart Hydrant is a real breakthrough when it comes to irrigators as it has many features that are unique. The system will assist in making effluent application easy to comply with and maximise nutrient retention.
The Larall Smart Hydrant utilises 4-6 medium size Rainguns which are controlled intermittingly, meaning a very low average application rate of 1.5mm per hour. It also requires relatively low labour to operate and enables high volumes of effluent to be pumped per session, maximising irrigation opportunity. This offers the dairy farmer smarter effluent management control with deferred irrigation, effective utilisation of nutrients, as well as labour savings. Failsafe features are also available such as if there is a low- or high-pressure fault registered, caused by either a leak or blockage, the LSH system will shut down the main effluent pump, giving the farm operator added peace of mind.
The low application intensity reflects a ‘little and often’ concept enabling nutrients to be maintained within the plant root zone. This is critical to gain the maximum value of the nutrients produced in effluent and maximise the return on investment. This system also allows irrigation to take place when traditional systems may not due to ponding and / or runoff.
No solids separator is required with the Larall Smart Hydrant and by using it the combined area you can irrigate to at one time is greater than 1ha.
HOW IT WORKS
The effluent enters the LSH and its flow / pressure is activated. Only one of the valves are opened at one time. The LSH directs the effluent through the open valve to the raingun for a set duration e.g. 15mins. Once the set time has lapsed, the next valve opens as the open valve closes and continues spreading effluent to the next raingun. For example, over the wetter months, the amount of effluent that goes to each raingun could be based on 10 mins of pumping. Based on a 10-minute period there would be a 50-minute rest between each application. The rest time allows the effluent to be absorbed by the soil which limits ponding and run off and maximises nutrient retention.
If we take a scenario of irrigating 2 x 3ha paddocks, there would be 6 shifts per gun to complete the area. The total application depth is relevant to pumping time and should be based on soil moisture levels. For example, to apply 10mm total depth the pumping time would be 7 hours between shifts.
The total pumping time to complete the paddocks (after 6 shifts) would therefore be 42 hours. Pumping approximately 18m³ per hour, this would equal 756m³. Based on a herd size of 500 cows and producing 35m3 per day this is approx. 21 days of effluent having been irrigated. In this situation the system can be used once every three weeks for deferred irrigation. If the total required depth is higher, say 15mm, then the pumping time between shifts would be 10 hrs. The total volume pumped would be 1080m³ or 30 days effluent. Labour savings are a result of setup time, or trips to the paddock, versus the total volume pumped. A common comparison here is with travelling irrigators and the ‘turnaround time’ required for their given output.
Investing in a well-designed effluent system can give you a significant financial return on investment through reduced fertiliser expenditure, whilst minimising animal health issues associated with effluent application and significantly cutting down labour inputs normally required to manage effluent disposal.
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The Team at Effluent & Irrigation Design understands the concerns relating to how much work managing a dairy farm and its systems can be.
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