Preparing for El Nino with K-Line Irrigation

September 1, 2015 Phil Gatehouse

The coming Spring and Summer could well shape up to be very testing for farmers as El Nino conditions look to take hold across New Zealand.

South Island cows

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is predicting that the Far North and East Coasts of both islands could experience a 15 per cent drop in rainfall.

According to NIWA’s website: “During El Niño, New Zealand tends to experience stronger or more frequent winds from the west in summer, typically leading to drought in east coast areas and more rain in the west. In winter, the winds tend to be more from the south, bringing colder conditions to both the land and the surrounding ocean. In spring and autumn south–westerly winds are more common.”

With some parts of New Zealand, especially North Canterbury and Marlborough already hard hit by a lack of rainfall, these predictions will be worrisome for many farmers. At times of low rainfall, wise water management – irrigation in particular – becomes vital.

Efficient Water Management

K-Line irrigation systems are ideal for when conditions are tough. The beauty of the K-Line system is its ability to apply a small amount of water over an extended period. This ensures that that irrigated land is not saturated and plants starved of oxygen, nor is the temperature of the ground lowered significantly.

Being a low-pressure system, K-line irrigators also use less water and are simple to install in any application, large or small. Plus using a slow absorption method means that you have to move K-Line pods less frequently than you would with other portable irrigators.

Get Water Where You Need It

When you do need to move your K-Line system, it’s portability and robust design means it is easy to drag to the required location without harming the sprinkler head in the pod. All systems are easily towed by quad bike or other vehicle, with all but the largest Max system able to be moved while sprinklers are running.

The durable pods are UV-stabilised and are also able to withstand freezing temperatures, so there’s no need to worry about weather extremes and leaving the pods exposed to harsh sunlight or frosts.

What’s more your stock can still graze in paddocks whilst they’re in use as the polyethylene pods are light but tough and able to withstand being kicked or stomped. Some cows are quite happy to have a cold shower too it seems!

Sizes and Applications

K-Line irrigation is available in three sizes, Standard, Mid and Max, and each of these offers a variety of pipe diameters and sprinkler nozzle type and sizes to suit your application – from 32mm pipe and 4mm nozzles through to 63mm skids and 15mm nozzles on the K-Line Max.  All K-Line systems are modular and can be expanded by adding further pipe and pod components to accommodate your needs.

This range of sizes and features flexibility ensures a wealth of applications, from backyards to large farms. All K-Line systems are able to irrigate grass up to 250mm high but RX Plastics have also made custom solutions to allow for special applications. These include orchards, where a low application is required, featuring systems with shallow 9 degree trajectory.

It’s not only irrigation where K-Line systems can be used, as RX Plastics have modified them to be able to discharge effluent in an effective and efficient manner. Find out more about K-Line Effluent.

Discover more about how you can help to drought proof your property with the K-Line system by downloading a brochure or contacting RX Plastics for more information.

About the Author

Still rivers run deep with Phil, our technical product manager. He is a hands-on kinda guy who has been known to not only get out on the farm to demonstrate products to our customers, but also to turn his considerable skills to whipping up a company brochure or designing a piece of software when the occasion demands it.

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