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Prioritize pre-plant pivot care

As the 2022 planting season approaches, irrigation experts urge farmers not to skimp on pivot maintenance. Favorable market conditions this year exacerbate the cost of leaving yield on the table.

“Properly maintained pivots offer yield advantages and can reduce input costs,” said Brad Dunbar, regional sales manager with Lindsay Corporation. “Spending a handful of hours ahead of planting could translate to thousands more dollars in growers’ pockets come har­vest due to reduced downtime and in-season service calls.”

Now’s the time for growers to prep their pivots for optimal results this season. Pay special attention to components that could have been damaged by prolonged freezing temperatures, ice and snow, including sand traps, drain valves, end gun valves and automatic valves that control water flow.

Here’s what Dunbar recommends prioritizing before planting begins.

  • Lubricate the pivot head to keep the pivot point moving freely during operation.
  • Inspect drivelines. Worn joints and driveline bolts are easy to repair at the beginning of the season but can be challenging to repair later.
  • Check sprinkler nozzles and replace as necessary to ensure proper pressure, which has a direct impact on water distribution uniformity and, ulti­mately, yield.
  • Check oil in gear boxes and center drive motors.
  • Check tire pressure to help maintain adequate flotation and prevent excessive gearbox wear.
  • Be sure to take any regional nuances into account and check with your pivot dealer on specific advice for your location.
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