Valley® Irrigation, the leader in precision irrigation, is offering a new sprinkler application option for growers who rotate crops of varying heights. AquaDock™ drop hose docking stations support two ground clearances in one drop hose assembly. Growers can easily change the drop hose height from the ground using a lift pole to place the sprinkler head into the docking station.
It was designed to provide a convenient way to change drop hose length and to improve crop production, said Dale Shelton, a Pasco, Wash., grower who holds the patent on AquaDock.
“With traditional drop hoses, we noticed dry rings in the corn crops; causing uneven crop growth and yield,” Shelton said. “Using the AquaDock has allowed us to eliminate those dry rings and apply fertilizer evenly to produce uniform crop growth and yields in our fields. Wrapping hoses used to take a lot of time. Now we can hang the hoses in a fraction of the time while keeping our irrigators on the ground.”
AquaDock allows growers to tailor water application to varying crop clearances without compromising uniformity or efficiency – two essential elements in yield and profit, said Jerry Gerdes, product manager for water application at Valley Irrigation.
“AquaDock maintains a high level of uniformity when growing high crops,” Gerdes said. “If the drops are left low, they can drag through the plants causing dry rings, which can affect yield. It’s not just uniformity, but also water application efficiency. With lower crops you get more efficiency with lower sprinklers. The greater the distance between the crop and the sprinkler, the less efficient due to evaporation and wind drift.”
AquaDock is available for new machines and for retrofitting existing pivots. Docking stations can be mounted directly to the U-pipe or they can clamp around the span. The span clamp version can prevent span cable theft, Shelton said.