Efficiency drives popularity of centre-pivots
Rainer Irrigation’s is intent on creating efficiency when it comes to farm irrigation and effluent sy stems, says company managing director Gavin Briggs.
He maintains the company is in a good position to do just that for farmers.
Not just by designing the systems, but also by supplying and installing Zimmatic centre pivots, with all other products manufactured in-house.
The company has a large manufacturing facility in Ashburton and its 75 staff includes engineers and electricians.
Gavin says this provides the opportunity for control over the entire process, and allows the hydraulics of a system to be tied in with the electrical components. All repairs and maintenance are also done in house.
“We design systems from the ground up to suit the specific farm and farmer’s needs. Our staff are an important part of delivering product and service, so we place a lot of importance on training.
“Many of our staff have been involved in the industry for decades. With this skill and understanding comes a level of support for our customers from start to finish that simply can’t be beaten.”
Gavin says centre-pivot irrigation systems are gaining more popularity because of their efficiency.
Rainer Irrigation aims to install systems that are 90-95 per cent efficient and also meet farm environmental plans.
Products such as variable-rate irrigators help achieve these targets by offering control over every drop of water and where it is spread, and avoid wastage, he says.
“Technology tells farmers data such as the application rate, where water is distributed and the soil temperature at the time. All valuable information for the modern farmer.”
Designing the right system for the farm is a vital part of the process, and Gavin sees this as one of company’s strength.
Rainer Irrigation is one of only two companies in New Zealand to have both irrigation design accreditation and farm dairy effluent design accreditation.
He says accredited organisations have had their design skills and workplace systems assessed by an independent panel and have met the accreditation standard.
They have also signed an agreement stating that all their designs, from the date of accreditation, will be consistent with the Irrigation Design Code of Practice and Standards.
The skills of the company are vital as designing an irrigation or effluent system can be a highly involved process, he says.
Consent, coverage area, pump size and terrain type are amongst the major issues, and a number of other important variables have to be considered, says Gavin.
“Continuing research and development is also an important part of the company philosophy, and this what sees it bringing new products to market.
A recent example is the Rainer effluent vibra screen released last year. The product separates solids from liquids in dairy-farm effluent.
Gavin says it is low maintenance with minimal moving parts and can separate solids to less than one millimetre, which makes it compatible with irrigators such as centre-pivots.
“It works by using a stainless steel vibrating screen, a method proven reliable in many other industries for decades.
The vibra screen system processes dairy-shed, wash-down water at a rate of up to 15 litres per second, significantly more than many other systems.
“Its solid, robust construction, combined with minimal moving parts, provides a simple and reliable effluent system with low running costs. The benefit for farmers is being able to make full use of the nutrients in their dairy-farm operation.
“The vibra screen can be retro-fitted to on-farm infrastructure, which helps reduce initial capital costs,” says Gavin.
“Creating greater efficiencies for our clients means staying at the vanguard of technology, and carefully evaluating the unique short and long-term needs of each and every farm.”