SDI?? Sub Surface Irrigation! - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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SDI?? Sub Surface Irrigation!

I am in Western Kansas and am looking for more efficient ways of watering. Right now we have center pivots and quarters of ground(160 Acres) and the circle covers roughly 120 acres. I am looking for any input on guys that have ran sub surface irrigation, thoughts and opinions and if it was worth the money! Any input is appreciated.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 01:55 AM
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How is this better than the center pivots?

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 12:16 AM
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No surface evaporarion.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 10:51 PM
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What are the draw backs
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 11:13 PM
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There are guys here in Alberta that have been using SDI for 30 years with great success. I don't know much about it but apparently they are buried about a foot down usually. The lines are divided into zones; you don't water the entire field at once. Basically you flush the system in the spring, and there are some detergents they put through to clean out mineral deposits. And there are always leaks from time to time, but you can just look for them in the spring (a wet spot) and with a shovel dig down and then fix the lines. Apparently it's not too bad.

I'm very intrigued by this and I think this is probably in the future for us. Would be nice to have square fields too! The cost of installation is about 1.5x the cost of a pivot installation. Obviously you have maintenance such as I described. But no gearboxes, no pivot tires, no collapsed spans when a safety circuit fails.

So to answer jesseb99's question, based on my limited knowledge I would say:
- special chemicals to flush minerals
- there will be leaks from time to time
- cost is 1.5x a pivot
- only 12" deep usually, so no deep tillage possible

Advantages:
- 100% efficiency... will that translate into more water rights, or being allowed to use the same allotment over more acres? I believe it will eventually
- less leaf disease. Risk of white mold in beans significantly reduced as you're not spraying the leaves with water
- square fields
- through zoning you can achieve variable rate irrigation.

I have a cousin looking to put in a quarter section of this in the next year or two. Fed by the river, so 100% efficiency makes Alberta Environment happy.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 11:59 PM
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has anyone ever heard of people having problems with the lines that are left in a field after one of these systems has been abandoned or redone. Are they hard to remove and if so how would you ever get rid of it all.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 12:08 AM
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You mentioned that it is 1 and a half times the cost of a pivot. I am completely unfamiliar with irrigation, and I mean completely, so what would that make the cost? What kind of return can you see on one of these systems?
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 12:22 AM
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Is there any concern about roots growing into lines?
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 01:26 AM
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Biggest problem I've heard is if your water isn't perfectly clean you can plug the holes and then your screwed. I don't know how river water would work without a pretty fancy filter system.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 06:27 PM
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The biggest expense is the filtration, SDI needs to be filtered down to 120 to 160 mesh depending on the emitter size.
A lot of my Neighbors are starting to put Drip tape on there pivots, they already have invested in the Pivot, now it is just an addition to the pivot, Here they are seeing a 15%yield increase on there Alfalfa, the malt barley field have yielded the same. there are still 2 pivots of sugar beets and 2 pivots of navy beans left to be harvested, and a field of corn silage.
they re did the gallonage and pressure on there pivot, they went from 875gpm to 700gpm and the pressure has been lowered down to 20 psi at the pivot center. The drip tape only need 5-8psi to operate,
I have pictures, i am trying to get them posted

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Last edited by batman; 08-21-2017 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Add pictures
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