Agrico solves SKS Boerdery’s irrigation needs

–  Natasha Pretorius, ProAgri

Searching for an irrigation system that delivers maximum production and uses the least amount of energy, the Steenkamp brothers from SKS Boerdery in Middelburg did not have to look further than the industry leader in irrigation, Agrico.

Through collaboration with the company, they managed to find a cost-effective and reliable solution that caters to all their irrigation needs.

SKS Boerdery was established in the nineties and over the years all three of the Steenkamp brothers joined the family farm. They mainly farm with grains and have a feedlot for their commercial livestock.

Polla Steenkamp explains that they first did their homework, because they were looking for a modern irrigation system. They realised that Agrico is the current leaders in terms of technology and design. Their modern systems coupled with antitheft properties, convinced them that this was the best solution for them.

“In the end there was no other choice for us than Agrico,” says Polla. Willie Cilliers, Branch Manager of Agrico Ermelo explained that Polla reached out to them for an irrigation system because they could not accomplish optimal crop yields with dry land production in their area.

Africo G4 centre pivot tackles theft!

The Agrico team suggested the G4 pivot point and a new pump system for the farm. Head of Mechanical Development at
Agrico, Gerrie Herbst, was involved in the design of this pivot point. The elegant design of the G4 tower allows  span widths of up to 70 m.

He explains that the three-legged centre of the G4 pivot system is unique.

“The G4’s centre is designed to safeguard your property against theft. All the cables and components, including the tension cable, are hidden in the truss structure. A panel cover hides the main panel and ensures that it is tamperproof.”

Apart from theft, load shedding is also one of this farm’s main challenges, with stage six load shedding some- times leaving the farm without electricity for a long time.

Irrigation is dependent on power supply and that is why they decided to take this project on by excluding Eskom and running it by using generators and solar power. The solar power is used to move the pivots when they are not in use, this means they also do not have to start the generators for this.

Maximum efficiency with LEPA

Although SKS Boerdery has a standard G4 pivot point, adjustments had to be made to the system and pump room to meet the farm’s needs, and at times the team had to deviate from the original design. Polla says: “For every time that a challenge came up, the Agrico team analysed the situation and responded with positive feedback and solutions.”

They decided to also install a LEPA (Low Energy Precision Application) system to run the system at low pressure with little losses and high efficiency. The crops planted on this farm also work well with the LEPA system.

And to crown it all, this system can be run from your phone to keep a watchful eye on your irrigation system.

Agrico’s Web Control enables you to manage various pumps and the pivots GPS system manages the pump’s speed and therefore the pressure to lower your energy usage. You can change the pivot point’s direction and keep an eye on energy use, everything from your cell phone or computer.

According to Polla this system is more efficient and in the end the goal is to run your business as efficient as possible.

“I had a very good experience working with Willie and his team of engineer’s from Bellville. I only have praise for them. I don’t think there was ever a problem and I hope this goes both ways.”

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