Start off irrigation season right with the proper inspections

June 4, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Crop producers need to start preparing for irrigation season now as planting nears the end, says a Purdue Extension and Michigan State irrigation specialist.

"If you ignore irrigation equipment until the first really hot dry day you often end up cutting corners and taking risks as you desperately try to get that first irrigation water to fly," said Lyndon Kelley.  

Kelley said there are many areas of the irrigation system that farmers should concentrate on when performing maintenance. The electric power supply, fluid levels, sprinkler heads and arms, wheel track systems and wells are all areas that need to be inspected before beginning irrigation.

When reviewing all areas of equipment, he said farmers should make sure to check for openings or leaks that could allow rodent, insect or bird access, debris buildup and other obstructions. Fluid levels and corrosion are also a few common problems that need to be evaluated.

Keeping accurate records of well water levels, repairs and meter readings will help farmers throughout the season as well as prepare them for future seasons, Kelley said.

When working with large equipment, take all safety precautions necessary, he said.

For more detailed instructions on maintaining an irrigation system, visit

Writer: Aspen Deno, 765-496-2384,

Source: Lyndon Kelley, 269-467-5511,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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