Root crop machinery manufacturer Grimme is to offer irrigation equipment for the first time.
The move extends its product range without moving away from its core market and marketing manager Ralph Powell reckons demand is big enough to make it worth bringing this equipment into the UK. Two irrigation reels will be on offer, the Primus 2800 and the higher-spec Monsun 3000 II. The main difference between them is that the top-of-the-range Monsun gets Grimme’s Q-drive system. This drives both sides of the reel, with two chains bedding into a rubber strip on the reel itself so there isn’t the wear there would be on a sprocket system.
Q-drive also acts as a brake when reeling out the gun and the Monsun is fitted with adjustable step-wheel hubs for maximum crop clearance.
Because each reel is fitted with a 180° turntable, it can be taken into the crop and then hydraulically swivelled into position. It’s also possible to stake the gun and pull the reel out, which is useful in flinty ground, adds Mr Powell. Both have electronic control units powered by a solar panel and with GSM phone connectability.
The pressure gauge is on the outlet of the turbine itself, meaning the actual working pressure is known, not that of the water entering the turbine. “Hydraulic jacks either side act to level the reel, particularly on uneven ground and then are locked in position,” Mr Powell adds.
To pull in the gun cart, the pipe wall thickness is increased for the first 100m close to the reel to allow for the extra pressure of pulling in the pipe itself. “There’s a small raingun on the edge of the reel which can be set on a manual timer to ensure the area around the reel is irrigated, and because this can be set before the primary rain gun reaches the reel the land is already irrigated and has dried out before the gun reaches it,” says Mr Powell.
Watch the Monsun in action
The three-wheeled gun cart is mounted on solid tyres to avoid punctures and the gun levels itself over ruts using a parallelogram linkage system. The Monsun uses 100mm box steel to carry the water from the pipe to the nozzle, whereas the Primus uses 90mm. Each gun provides a 40m sweep either side.
Three nozzles come as standard on both machines, and growers can choose from a selection of six. There are also 300mm and 500mm height extensions for crops like maize. Extras like pumps, layflat pipe and connections are also available through Grimme Irrigation Systems.
Pipe sizes for the Primus will be 90mm at 600m, 100mm at 500m and 120mm with the 350m. On the Monsun it will be possible to get 120mm at 500m and 110mm at 400m. Prices range from £27,500 for the Primus and £37,000 for the Monsun.