Floppy gives farmers great potential!
Ben van Rensburg, head of the Small Grain Institute at Jan Kempdorp is an expert on farming and he talks with the highest respect of the Floppy Sprinkler system. In 2000, Ben completed a Fertigation course at the Fertigation Academy in Rustenburg where he first noticed the Floppy Sprinkler Overhead Cable system.
Ben immediately recognised the potential of the system and subsequently installed 6 Ha’s at Vaalharts for wheat trails. According to Ben, the installation of the system was very easy. The idea is simple yet effective. Sprinklers and poly pipe are suspended from a cable - high enough to allow tractors and implements to move freely underneath the system.
According to Ben advantages of the Floppy system include:
- Any shape or size field can be irrigated effectively with the Floppy Sprinkler system without wastage of arable soil.
- Fertigation is easy. By simply applying the correct quantity in a pressure tank, fertilizers can be applied over an entire block with no need for complex calibration.
- The 4.3mm per hour application rate ensures sufficient infiltration in order to meet plant water requirements without wastage of irrigation water through run-off.
- The Floppy Sprinkler makes soft uniform-sized droplets similar to rain drops. The soft droplets do not compact the soil.
- Crop cooling is done effectively as it is very easy to manipulate irrigation by the turn of a tap.
- The Floppy Sprinkler system allows for complete control over water application – fertilizers and water can be applied block by block.
- A variety of crops can be cultivated under the system. During the summer, Ben grows cash crops such as dry beans, maize and wheat as a crop rotating system in order to meet the budget.
- South Africa is known for its erratic rainfall patterns and water is usually scarce. Exponential to this, water is also becoming increasingly expensive. This means that it is up to the farmer to utilise water more economically. The Floppy Sprinkler has a 90% application efficiency. Combined with the manageability of the system there has been instances reported where the yield per litre water has doubled, such as mentioned below.
Besides these advantages, data collected from the trial blocks reflected the effectiveness of the system with only 4.19% coefficient variance on 8 tons per Ha of harvested wheat. This is a phenomenal yield for the Vaalharts region! Ben was so thrilled with these results that he installed a further 7 Ha’s.
The Fertigation Academy also achieved great results with the Floppy Sprinkler system. Available water is the single most limiting factor at the Academy. For the past season, only 228.63mm irrigation water was applied while the influence of rain was measured at 15mm. According to André Jordt of the Academy, they applied less than half the quantity of water normally used on wheat. Not withstanding the water problem a good yield of 6037.5 kg wheat per Ha was obtained with 228.63mm water or 26.5kg per mm. According to André this is a 139% yield increase per mm water applied with no reduction in the quality of the wheat. André ascribes their success to effective water scheduling practices and the Floppy Sprinkler system that has a high water application efficiency, good water distribution and uniformity.
For the farmers aiming to cultivate the projected 851 200 Ha’s of wheat, the advantages of the Floppy Sprinkler system are numerous and the potential for a good yield vast!
For more information, contact Paul Lotter from Floppy Sprinkler (Pty) Ltd. at 013-752 4252 or visit the Floppy Sprinkler website at www.floppysprinkler.com