An ir­ri­ga­tion gantry

NZ Grower - - Product Group Onions Nz - Dan Bloomer – LandWISE Dan Bloomer – LandWISE

What do you do with a re­tired lin­ear move ir­ri­ga­tor? If you're Hugh Ritchie, you do­nate it to the LandWISE Mi­cro­Farm.

The Ritchies re­placed their orig­i­nal Drumpeel Farm lin­ear after about 16 years and 16,000 hours of on-site use. They do­nated its parts to make a sin­gle span ma­chine for the Mi­cro­Farm. And last Satur­day, Hugh ar­rived with a truck and trailer car­ry­ing the cart and parts and a Man­i­tou to put it up with. We have gone for a sin­gle span ma­chine, with the cart mov­ing up and down the Mi­cro­Farm cen­tre ac­cess track. The span will cover one mi­cro-pad­dock width at a time. We will pivot it at the end of each full length run to re­turn up the other side. The parts were there for two spans and a cen­tre feed, but that would cause prob­lems with trac­tors and sprayers. A sin­gle span ma­chine lets us move it fully out of the way of one side of the Mi­cro­Farm at a time.

THE CON­STRUC­TION STORY FOL­LOWS, WITH PHO­TOS BY BRID­GET PAGE.

What we have now is ef­fec­tively a gantry that (almost) spans our mi­cro-pad­docks. It doesn’t have any noz­zles yet, and we may not use the span pipes to carry wa­ter. We’ll only be pump­ing 4.8 L/s – a tenth of what the full ma­chine used. So a smaller pipe will fill quicker and re­duce drainage at the end of each shift. Thanks to the Ritchie fam­ily we have a crit­i­cal part of Mi­cro­Farm in­fra­struc­ture in place. It is five steps up from last year and our hand-shift mini-gun tied on a clapped-out rideon mower! Web­site for the photo gallery http://mi­cro­farm.landwise. org.nz/lin­ear-move-on-site/

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