Newsletter November 2017

With an identified preference for consumers and businesses to seek out products that are locally made and supported, Upton Engineering is delighted to announce that we have been granted the right to use the identification of “Australian Made and Owned” on our principal products.

This will be identified by appropriate labels on our Upton centre pivot and linear move irrigators, and on our Irriturf race track irrigators.

The Australian Made campaign has been running for many years and continues to receive a high recall factor in domestic market surveys.

The triangular green and gold logo indicates that products and materials are sourced locally as far as possible.
It also indicates that businesses and products employing the logo support their local communities by providing employment and participation opportunities.

The Australian Made logo has also been shown to have a high recognition factor in export markets indicating a product of quality.

 

Newsletter September 2017

How much money did your centre pivot irrigator burn last year?

People who know me well know that I love science. Maths and physics in particular. Let’s look at a few facts of physics. I will keep it simple (or, how to save you money the easy way).

Power usage of a pump is derived by a formula that involves the following parameters- Volume of water flow. Operating pressure at the pump and the efficiency of the pump being used. In basic terms, if we double the operating pressure we double the power requirement. If we double the flow, we also double the power requirement.

Whether you are using diesel or electricity the fact remains that power is money! There is always continuing advancements in both pump efficiency and pivot sprinkler head technology.

If your irrigation system is 10 years old or more there is a very good chance that your existing pump is worn and your out of date pivot sprinkler package is costing you money instead of making it for you. A ‘typical’ 400m long pivot irrigator running on a diesel pump for 2000 hrs per year can have a fuel cost of $20-25,000 per year. Wouldn’t you like to reduce that cost by 10-20% ? Savings could be upwards of $50,000 over the next 10 years, per pivot irrigator.

Improving pump efficiency and lowering pump operating pressure will reduce your overall operating costs. I am constantly surprised when I hear of people installing a new pivot system who do not know what their expected operating costs will be. This is a sure sign of an inexperienced irrigation company or sales person. People’s excuses will often be- ‘I got a really good deal’ or- ‘The guy gave me a cheap price on the whole package’.

Purchase price has nothing to do operating costs. The operating cost over 10+ years is where your money is going to be either made or lost. Purchase poorly and it will cost you forever.

Step 1 is accurately knowing what your current power consumption is. If you do not know what your pumping cost is then make it a priority today. It’s never too late to look at money saving changes. Most people work on a value of $ per ML pumped.

Step 2 is to contact us to discuss how much money we can save you going forward.
(feel free to use our contact form or call Glenn on 0418 366 364)

Also, if you haven’t done it yet, download our free Linear Move Irrigation Brochure.

Thanks for reading,

Paul Upton

Newsletter April 2017

How much is fertilizer application really costing you?

Fertilizer and trace element application is generally done by one of two methods- Dry spreading or injecting into the water stream of your pivot irrigator. To make a real comparison between the 2 methods simply write down a list of all cost inputs to apply each method.

Dry application needs a tractor with spreader or a purpose built machine. Both options accumulate hours and general wear and tear on the machinery. Fuel usage and labour input by a skilled operator is also a considerable cost. Dry application is usually done when planting and maybe a couple times at the beginning of the crop cycle.

In the case of taller crops like corn or sorghum, fertilizer application later in the crop cycle can become increasingly difficult without specialised and expensive machinery. Injection into your centre pivot allows precision application when the crop needs it most without over or under application.

Fertilizers can be supplied as a bulk liquid or a small mixing/batch tank can be located next to the pivot centre to process dry chemicals. Mixing dry product can be a cost effective option when delivery costs are factored into remote locations. Fully adjustable injections pumps can be set to inject the required dosage per hectare and is applied during the normal watering cycle. Often overnight whilst you are sleeping.

If you are interested in saving time and money talk to Upton Engineering about our new fertilizer injection kits. We can supply mobile kits for easy transport between site or a more permanent on-site package for pivots with large hectare coverage. Don’t forget to keep records of all your inputs and compare yields between the different fertilizer application methods. Higher profits will only come from greater yields combined with lower inputs.

If you haven’t done it yet, download our free report on the ten most common mistakes people make with centre pivot irrigation.

Thanks for reading,

Paul Upton

Newsletter September 2016

Upton Centre Pivots give you more time for less money.

The decision has been made – ‘I need a new centre pivot irrigator’. The most common thought is – How much is this going to cost me? Instead we should be thinking – How much money could I save?

The 2 key factors in saving money are – How long is this system going to last? And how much is this system going to cost me (in both time and money) to operate year in and year out? Only then can you really compare apples with apples.

Upton pivots last longer and cost less to own, we use the very best high strength corrosion resistant materials to ensure you get the long lasting pivot available anywhere in the world. In fact, we have never replaced a single pipe due to corrosion on one of our pivots built with high tensile marine grade aluminium pipe.

Our previous newsletters have shown that a lower operating pressure directly relates to lower running costs. Our smooth bore pipe has significantly less friction than the galvanised pipe used by other manufacturers. When designing a pivot system to suit your individual needs we place a high priority on selecting the best pipe sizes that will lower your running cost and save you money, only then can you continue to save money every day for the life of your pivot irrigation system.

Saving time is something that everyone can agree on. Who wants to be driving around the farm starting and stopping pumps and checking pivots when you could be sitting around the BBQ with family and friends? Simple to use automation is the key to this. A couple of clicks on a smart phone app and you know exactly where your pivot is and how much water is being applied. Starting or stopping pumps is done automatically as the pivot requires them to.

If you are interested in getting the very best value for money on your next irrigation project gives us a call on 02 60 331 844 or contact us here and find out how much we could be saving you.

 

Thanks for reading,

Paul Upton

Newsletter February 2016

Low Pressure – How important is it really?

In our advertising we always state that we aim to achieve ‘low pressure’ operation, why is this?

From a purely mathematical point of view and by using the standard formula-

kW = Head(mtrs) x Volume(m3/hr)  / 360 x pump efficiency as a decimal

We can see that if we can lower the pressure at our water pump (Head) we are also proportionally lowering the hp(kW) required to drive the pump and therefore also lower our running costs.

  • In simple terms, if we can half the pressure, we can half our running costs.

Long term running costs is one of the most important factors in achieving an efficient irrigation system. Over the life of a centre pivot system, let’s use 20 years in this example, there are 2 main steps we can take to help reduce operation pressure. The first is to minimise friction loss in both the delivery pipeline and also in the pivot itself. This is done by utilising large bore PVC pipes for the mainline and the use of some larger diameter span pipes for the first few spans of the pivot.  The second method is to use a sprinkler and regulator package with a lower design pressure. The difference between a ‘cheap’ poorly designed pivot system compared to one of a more efficient design can typically mean a reduction of around 15-20 psi at the pump.

  • On a diesel driven pump set this can equate to a saving of around $2000 per year on an average centre pivot system. This becomes $40,000 over the 20 life of the pivot. Just by saving 15 psi.

A typical ‘mistake’ we encounter is people attempting to save money by using an older existing pipeline. In years gone by pipelines may have been installed with less consideration to overall operating costs. There are quite a few cases of irrigation systems requiring 40-50 psi more operating pressure than they truly need to, this can mean spending an extra $120,000 over 20 years in pumping costs alone. How much is that ‘cheap’ irrigation system really costing you?

Is there such a thing as going too low? Yes. Different sprinkler heads require different operating pressures and are specifically designed for particular applications. A rotator head below a 20 psi regulator will provide a large coverage area and superior crop penetration but is not required in most crop conditions where a spinner head or wobbler with a 10 psi regulator will do. This change alone can mean a 10 psi saving before looking at pipeline losses. Going too low with a 6 psi regulator and basic spray body may work ok in a LEPA (low energy precision application) system where there are very close sprinkler outlets but in general it will not provide enough water spread to effectively cover the distance between sprays or penetrate a tall crop. Your irrigation dealer or agronomist would be best to advise you on the most suitable sprinkler head for your application.

Thanks for reading,

Paul Upton