Smartphones and tablets have proven invaluable for remote control of pivot irrigation systems due to the technology designed into today’s products. However, with the appropriate irrigation app, your cell phone can do even more to improve irrigation efficiency and pivot performance.
Although several of the leading irrigation apps developed by the University of Nebraska Extension staff have been highlighted in past issues, they’re worth summarizing again. In addition, a number of new apps, not counting those used to remotely control specific pivot brands, have since been developed. Find the Nebraska apps (numbers 1-4) here.
1. Water Meter Calculator: This app from the University of Nebraska calculates the number of inches of water applied by irrigation over a given time and can apply it to your yearly and multiyear allocation caps. Once it is set up for a field, the app will calculate the amount of water applied to the given field over the given time period.
2. IrrigatePump: Also referred to as the Irrigation Pumping Plant Efficiency Calculator app, IrrigatePump from the University of Nebraska helps you identify irrigation pumping units that are underperforming and that need to be adjusted, repaired, or replaced with a better design. The calculator also compares the fuel used for your pumping plant with the Nebraska Pumping Plant Performance Criteria and provides an estimated cost to bring the pumping plant up to standard and the number of years necessary to pay back the investment at various interest rates.
3. IrrigateCost: If you are considering a new irrigation system, IrrigateCost calculates total irrigation cost as well as total ownership and total operating costs. It also compares both center pivot and gated pipe irrigation systems, as well as the most commonly used energy sources.
This University of Nebraska app additionally calculates per-acre annual cost and per-acre-inch annual cost, which is helpful when computing a fair crop-share rental agreement. By estimating the costs to pump an acre-inch of water, the app can also help determine how many additional bushels of a crop are needed to pay for any end-of-season water applications.
4. CropWater: This app provides an easy way to determine soil water status based on Watermark sensors installed at depths of 1, 2, 3, and 4 feet. You input sensor readings and growth stage and you receive an estimate of water used and present in the soil profile for eight soil textures found in Nebraska and states with similar soils.
5. Irrigation Run Time: This run-time calculator from Valley, which works with all brands of pivots, eliminates errors with paper and pen when calculating irrigation cycle time completion. It also lets you store run log data and keep your calculation information with you at all times on your phone. Find the app at valleyirrigation.com.
6. Irrigation Calculator: Like the Irrigation Run Time, this calculator works with any system to help you calculate friction loss, rotation time, system flow, gallons per minute per acre, area, application rate, and more. The calculator from Lindsey Irrigation includes a yield converter and a collection of other conversion tools. Once it’s been downloaded, the app resides on smartphones or tablets. Find the app at lindsay.com.
7. Apply Yourself: If you are thinking about adopting a fertigation program, Agri-Inject offers Apply Yourself, an app designed to take the complication and guesswork out of selecting and calibrating an injection pump for virtually any agriculture application. The intelligent-ranking system adjusts for multiple factors in determining the most suitable pump for your application. It also assists with calibration once it’s installed. Find the app at agri-inject.com.
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