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Design of a drip system in a pecan orchard

I am designing a drip system for a pecan orchard (50 acres). I do not know where to start. Does anyone know of a good reference that would serve as a primer. I really would like to have something that had the hydraulics of the system explained. Thank you.

Wesley Parker


Try the url, www.aces.edu/department/irrig/ There are a dozen or so extension circulars on microirrigation design and specific crop systems under the heading "MICRO-IRRIGATION HANDBOOK". This has a southern flavor but you may find it helpful.

Ted W. Tyson


Try NMSU pecan handbook available at http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/welcome.html

Martin Connaughton


Dear Wesley, Give me a call at 1-800-527-4935 and I will discuss the drip irrigation projects we have done on Pecans in both the US and Mexico.

Chuck Warner


Wesley, Rainbird's Landscape Irrigation Design Manual has a pretty good introduction to pipe hydraulics (turbulent flow) with elevation and so forth, but it is oriented toward residential and commercial landscapes and sprinklers. If the basic hydraulics of turbulent pipe flow is what you need that would be a good start - and it is probably free (or maybe around $5.00 US) at your local Rainbird supplier. I am sure Toro has something similar. Years ago Hardie Irrigation (now owned by Toro) had a Micro- irrigation design manual that had some good info - "barb" losses of punch-in emitters, various sizes of polyethylene pipe and friction losses, and so forth.

Not sure if it available now. I will bet that Charles Burt may have something out like this - as a publication, perhaps, or a book (http://www.itrc.org). I seem to remember something like this - it may have been something Freddie Lamm and that excellent group at Kansas State have done also. Check their websites for more (http:/www.oznet.ksu.edu/irrigate or http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/sdi/)

Bryan Smith


Go to your local NRCS office they have design manuals for drip hydraulics. Most of the suppliers like Rainbird and Netafim not only have design manuals but computer programs also. The Irrigation Training and Research Center puts out several. Just choose your poison

Clare Prestwich


Wesley and other Trickle-L people,

I meant to reply to your earlier message, Wesley, regarding pecan irrigation system design, but put it off until I could put my hands on some old pecan irrigation papers I had written while I was in Texas. These might be able to help you in terms of pecan irrigation design & system hydraulics. Here are some key concepts: * because if is a tree crop, pecan water use has been reported both on a land area basis and a per-tree basis.

On a land acre basis, water use will be close to what alfalfa is during June-August. It is a tree that is fairly slow to leaf out, so early-season use will be less then alfalfa. While the trees are young they only use a proportion of the water that full-canopy trees do.

Once about 60% of the orchard floor is shaded at solar noon, full use has been reached. Water use on a per tree basis has mudded the water since orchards are planted at a wide range of densities (25 to 50 per acre is common), and will eventually get thinned down to about 10 or 15 per acre.

This confusion is one of the reasons that so many of the pecan orchards in arid areas were so poorly designed. * the papers that I have on design are:

1) Irrigation system design for pecans

2) Retrofitting micro-sprinklers into an existing drip irrigation system for pecans in the arid West

3) Managing pecan orchards with limited water supplies

4) Design procedures for a drip irrigation system for pecans using drip tape/tubing None of these papers are in electronic format and must be sent by mail. If you are interested in getting copies I'll be glad to mail them to you. Please respond privately (not on Trickle-L) with your name, address, etc. Finally, in my opinion there is no better way to irrigate pecans then with SDI and I would encourage this.

Joe Henggeler