Irrigation / Automation

Irrigation Consulting Overview

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Irrigation is a life-blood science without which the whole of man cannot exist.  It hydrates, nourishes, produces, and sustains humanity’s most precious resource…food!

Irrigation’s History

It is rumored that irrigation first began some 6,000 or more years ago in the region of ancient Mesopotamia and is partially based on the skillful ingenuity of Babylonian, Sassanian, and Abbasid rulers.  Yet, this ancient beginning for systematic irrigation suffered set-backs at the hands of invading Mongols and was left un-restored by the Ottoman Turks.  As millennia fell away, centuries slowed times measure, and recent years brought us better opportunity to observe irrigation’s unfolding in a more detailed fashion…modern advancements dawned agriculture’s stage to revolutionize how man uses and benefits from water.

With the advent of drip irrigation in Israel during the early 1960’s, visionary work of engineers, and almost limitless electronic capabilities over recent years…cutting-edge automated irrigation was born.  Today, people worldwide are making use of amazing new irrigation technologies in pipe, distribution, filtration, and automation never before thought possible.  As a result, developed countries lower cost of production, emerging nations realize new position in world economy, and third world regions feed their masses in more life-giving ways.

VisionLogic’s Owner Is Involved

Greg Benner has been deeply involved in the design, installation, and use of automated drip and micro irrigation since 1978.  Many said “his overnight conversion of a 40 year old sprinkler-irrigated orchard to single-line drip…was nuts.”  But, time has proven him to be an explorer-turned-pioneer in automated irrigation.  Since, his research, system refinement, and use of the most advanced drip and micro irrigation, filtration, and automation available has continued.  Greg personally uses and helps others select and operate state-of-the-art systems for nurseries, commercial orchards, row crops, research, and other applications.  Greg’s related experience includes programmable fertilizer injection, chemigation, chlorination, and acidification of water to enhance plant performance, crop protection, system maintenance, and water quality in safe low-cost ways.

VisionLogic Can Help

Contact VisionLogic to discuss your specific irrigation needs today!

 

Perspecitve – Irrigation Specialist

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As a kid…I always loved to swim our ice cold irrigation canals on a hot summer’s day.  It was great!  Inner tubes, hornets, friends, dogs, and lots of mud to paste your buddy with.  Yet, irrigation canals were there for a purpose I soon discovered, not our fun.

Growing things has always been a passion to me.  Growing things requires water.  As a fourth generation agriculturist farming on high elevation desert with only 7 inches of rain falling per year…I had to learn about water!  Being intrigued by new-fangled ideas and glittery gadgets…the emerging micro irrigation industry caught my eye.  One day while in town…I stopped by a new drip irrigation dealer and grabbed some hose, a few electric valves, a time clock, and some glue launching out to change my future!  Growing up in an orchard provided me just the right opportunity to test my stuff.  Over time, I learned many valuable lessons with regard to irrigation…some easy and others…the hard way.

   

Water Distribution Principles / Application

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Basis

Using irrigation effectively requires one’s understanding of how water, soil, and gravity work together.  Simply put…water is heavy and its pattern of movement is greatly affected by (1) capillary attraction in the soil (lateral movement), (2) gravitational pull exerting downward force on water mass (vertical movement), and (3) soil profile composition (i.e. sand, clay, organic matter content, etc.).

How It Works

Capillary Attraction:  A force exerted by soil to “wick” water laterally in the profile.  This affect can be best described when compared to dripping a few drops of water on a piece of paper and then watching the wet spot spread over time.   This “wicking” affect exerted by paper to draw small amounts of water horizontally in all directions is the same as soil action.  Capillary attraction works as small amounts of water (small mass) are applied at one time (i.e. drip irrigation) with time intervals between irrigation applications.  Capillary attraction’s exerted force is weaker than gravitational pull.

   

Soil & Water Evaluation

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Perspective

Today’s demand for water has spurred conflict between homeowners, land owners,  municipalities, states, countries, and cultures.  As people migrate from rural areas to urban settings…municipal demands for domestic water cast heavy burdens on existing water sources.  Meanwhile, special interest and environmental groups promote hydro-electric dam removal in exchange for alternate energy sources with potential impact on critical irrigation, tax base, power rates, recreation, and ultimately…living costs.

Far-Reaching

Properly evaluating soil and water reaches deeper in all directions than most imagine. One cannot simply say, “that’s dirt and this is water.”  Soil evaluation rests on the comprehensive investigation of geography, climate, watershed, industry, ownership, power, resources, and proximity to population centers.  Once this information has been gathered and assessed…then proposed land use, soil composition, conservation, and crop production can be considered.

   

Research, Evaluation, Planning, & Feasibility (Research, Project, Crop, Geography, Etc)

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VisionLogic is capable and qualified to research your project scope, evaluate your system designs, help with logistical planning, and troubleshoot any feasibility issues.

Global Network

Over the past 35 years…VisionLogic’s Greg Benner has worked, used, researched, designed, traveled, and built a global network of skilled engineers, scientists, manufacturers, and other support professionals able to tackle any issue!

Vendors & Supplies

VisionLogic can help you locate vendors willing to design, customize, and supply what you need promptly at cost-effective prices.

Contact VisionLogic Today!

   

Irrigation Efficiency & Conservation

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Perspective

During my visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan…I came face-to-face with outdated canal systems, water distribution, and flood irrigation.  Canals carried water to different areas for both domestic and irrigation purposes.  Though large quantities of water were diverted from rivers to fill canals, delivered water quantities were greatly reduced due to canal leakage, evaporation, and clandestine use.  Water delivery lacked efficiency in that impoverished setting.

Yet, when I traveled through Israel and Europe, I was surrounded by the most advanced and efficient water distribution techniques known to man.  Contrast in method and efficiency between those different geographical regions was “black-and-white” by comparison.  Some nations use water inefficiently due to old existing technology, isolation, and poverty.  Water inefficiencies in developed nations typically stem from developmental costs, governmental regulation, and poor priorities.

   

Water Treatment

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Water is a source of life to people, animals, plants, and industry all over the world.  Water availability, quality, and character range from pure to polluted making its use easy in some cases and more difficult in others.  When available water quality or nature falls below required levels for certain uses…water treatment becomes necessary.  Adjusting the quality or nature of water is a science of its own.  Types or approaches to water treatment are determined by waters source, composition, and end use.

Agriculture

Water used for irrigating crops slated for human consumption must fit certain quality and character requirements to include…

  • purity free from chemical, biological, and pathogenic contaminants
  • a ph between 5 and 7
  • low calcium index
  • low salinity
  • clarity free from sand or grit

Water may be treated with chlorine, sulfuric acid, or other various water conditioning agents necessary to restore quality and make-up consistent with end-use requirements.  Water treatment may be chemical or physical in nature depending on whether one is trying to alter its chemical quality or physical contaminant content.

   

Drip Irrigation

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Introduction

Drip irrigation was first designed and manufactured commercially in Israel.  Companies like Netafim and Plastro pioneered the way in the early 1960’s with others following in their footsteps…

Over the course of drip’s technical evolution… products and companies have come and gone leaving only proven ideas and producers.  As multi-national manufacturing giants engulf smaller irrigation companies…product research, development, and production technologies merge to supply end users worldwide.  Drip irrigation is a tool of choice able to maximize distribution, nutrition, yields, and conservation like no other application method.

   

Micro Irrigation

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What Is It?

Micro irrigation consists of those closely-positioned miniature sprinklers, spinners, jets, hoses, and emitters used to deliver water more consistently.

What About It?

Technical advances in micro irrigation products and application have helped achieve crop planting styles capable of producing higher yields with less water.  From potatoes…to orchards…to greenhouses…micro sprinklers, jets, bubblers, misters, and other micro configurations boost water application uniformity.

   

Water Filtration

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Clean water changes everything!  Big things do not fit through small holes…hence, filtration.  In the past 40 years, advances in filtration make water clean-up possible even under the worst of conditions.  Today’s micro and drip irrigation systems demand effective particulate removal for trouble-free operation.

Important – REALLY!

On another subject…good auto body work is 95% of a great paint job.  If one cuts corners on pre-paint preparations…the best paint on the planet will never hide the resulting flaw.  Keep this in mind as you consider…

When your irrigation system designer tells you that the drip hose he specified for your job will pass 100 mesh particles…order a filter unit capable of 140-160 mesh despite his opposition.  Likewise, if your designer tells you that your system flow is 300 gpm, order a filter that will filter a minimum of 450 gpm.  You ask why would I suggest that you go overboard on filtration?  Let me tell you why!

   

System Automation

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Man Is Not On Time

One key thing I learned quickly in maximizing irrigation benefits is… man is not consistent enough to manually operate micro irrigation systems productively.  Why?  Because distractions like flat tractor tires, emergency spray applications, labor problems, or bringing milk home from the store after work always disrupt controlling system functions manually…on time.

Random system operation reduces water distribution uniformity causing plants and trees to experience unnecessary moisture, temperature, and oxygen variations in their growing environment.

   

Design, Installation, Operation

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Irrigation system design is critical to success!  Quality installation determines how effective the design “can” be.  And knowing how to operate your system consistent with design determines how effective your system “will” be.

Designers

Be sure to work with a qualified irrigation system designer with long-term practical experience in the type of system you need.  There are designers and then there are…”designers.”  Many irrigation companies have system design software from irrigation equipment companies they buy product from.  Yet, quality design demands in-depth understanding of how all system components work individually and together.  Find the guy who had a few failures 20 years ago, had to fix the problems, and became a hands-on master designer with field experience.

   

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