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Targeted, Precision Irrigation for Moving Platforms: Selected Papers from a Center Pivot Technology Transfer Effort

Freddie R. Lamm, Dana O. Porter, James P. Bordovsky, Steven R. Evett, Susan A. O’Shaughnessy, Kenneth C. Stone, William L. Kranz, Danny H. Rogers, Paul D. Colaizzi
Transactions of the ASABE v.62 no.5 pp. 1409-1415
aquifers, center pivot irrigation, energy, engineering, irrigation management, technology transfer, Great Plains region, United States
This article is an introduction to an ASABE Special Collection of ten articles concerning center pivot (CP) technology transfer that appears in this issue of and in . The year 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of research and development of low-energy precision application (LEPA) for use with CP sprinkler irrigation systems. Since 1978, researchers, extension specialists, and industry have continued development of multiple technologies that are suitable for mobile lateral irrigation platforms. A two-year technology transfer effort with funding from the USDA-ARS Ogallala Aquifer Program (OAP) was initiated in January 2017 to promote adoption of advanced and efficient irrigation technologies and to highlight recommended practices for mobile irrigation platforms, including both CP and lateral-move (LM) systems. The articles in this Special Collection address five major topic areas: in-canopy and near-canopy irrigation application from moving platforms, site-specific variable-rate irrigation (VRI) and associated sensor technologies for moving platforms, the use of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) with CP systems, and uniformity evaluations for CP systems. While these ten articles are not inclusive of all the important advances in irrigation from moving platforms since 1978, they illustrate that continued improvement in irrigation management occurs by combining engineering and agronomic sciences. Pressurized irrigation from moving platforms is increasing in the U.S. and will be an important tool for meeting global food and water challenges. In addition to introducing and summarizing the Special Collection, this article provides additional rationale for the CP technology transfer effort. Keywords: Center pivot, Irrigation uniformity, Lateral-move sprinkler, LEPA, Linear-move sprinkler, Low-energy precision application, Site-specific irrigation, Sprinkler irrigation, Variable-frequency drives, Variable-rate irrigation, VFD, VRI.