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Ernesto Montenero  |  Sustainable Technologies  |  Alameda, CA

Subject: Direct Solar provide 20years of free pumping at Full Belly farm

Capay Valley, CA – Agriculture has always been part of California since the beginning, but with an impending drought, the sustainable utilization of our natural resources has been brought to the forefront. Full Belly Farm in Capay Valley is committed to organic and sustainable farming practices since 1985. Their latest commitment is an innovative renewable energy project: an off-grid solar pumping system by Sustainable Technologies. This direct solar system pump operates independently throughout the day. No power drop required and no electricity bill. The Varisun pumping controller can run any 3 phase pump.

The system sits on nearby grassland that the farm recently acquired, but it had no power within reach. The cost to install power near the well was unreasonable, and more expensive than the solar PV system itself. Irrigating the land would require power, so the farm chose to produce power where they

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In Topics Water & Irrigation

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Comments 5
06/11/18

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  |  Yolo Press  |  Winters, CA commented

Just to clarify the options: Photovoltaic panels produce direct current (DC) electricity. The Full Belly installation uses an inverter/transformer plus controls (plus phase converter?) to convert this to AC (alternating current) to power the pump (the pump runs on AC). My system uses a pump that runs on direct current (DC) power, so there is no inverter/transformer, no phase converter, no controls. It is a much simpler system for off-grid pumping.

06/12/18 8:21 AM

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Thomas Aaron Dinwoodie  |  Feral Heart Farm  |  Sunol, CA

Subject: in search of 2" aluminum irrigation pipe with risers and connectors

Any leads on 2" aluminum pipe with connectors and risers with sprinklers? I know 3" is the more common size. Does anyone have a better solution to pre-irrigating for weed flush or early fall tillage? Would lay flat with risers and cam lock fittings work with some sort of staking?

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Comments 6
03/07/18

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  |  Camp Grant Family Farm  |  Redcrest , CA commented

That would be E2809CRain for RentE2809D maybe still in Woodland. 
03/15/18 7:02 AM

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Rachel Kohn Obut  |  Lunita Farm  |  Napa, CA

Subject: Iron in Well Water

I'm just starting a vegetable farming venture on an acre of land (hopefully). I had already begun to invest in the project so I'm committed to moving forward if possible. Unfortunately, I just received the water test and iron level is listed at 8 mg/L. I've done a little research online and it sounds like that is going to be problematic. Can anyone give me more information about this? Are there affordable ways to remove iron, or irrigation systems that can handle this amount of iron. Normally, I have used t-tape, which I understand may not be able to handle this level of iron. I'd so appreciate any resources or information anyone can share. I do not want to give up on this project, but maybe I will have to?

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Comments 12
01/21/18

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  |  Water Lever  |  Somerville, MA commented

Rachel,
If you decide to go with a treatment, check out http://irrigationcleaning.com/. We market a product called Phyto-Cat which uses a liquid fermentation to eliminate scaling in irrigation systems. It is not acidic or toxic and it helps to improve the soil as well. It costs $70 a gallon which is enough to treat an acre of drip irrigation for at least one full growing season. It's a new technology which began being used in irrigation in 2016 and we have already helped several farmers in California deal with sever Iron reducing bacteria problems in their irrigation systems.

02/07/18 6:52 PM, updated

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Aubrey White  |  Agricultural Sustainability Institute At UC Davis  |  Davis, CA

Subject: Nutrient Mgmt Virtual Field Day: Monitoring nutrient and moisture levels to maximize productivity

Welcome to the Nutrient Management Virtual Field Day! Here is our first topic to kick things off:

Clearly, in limited water situations, monitoring your nutrient and moisture helps maximize productivity. What are your top tips for farms to accomplish this? What monitoring practices do you use? How did you adapt your monitoring practices for the drought?

Below, our featured panelists will respond, and then we invite YOU to share any ideas, tips or questions you have as well.

For bios of our panelists and to learn more about the Series, check out the Nutrient Management Solutions group. This Nutrient Management Series in Times of Drought Series is a collaboration of UC SAREP, FarmsReach and Sustainable Conservation.

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Water & Irrigation

In General FarmsReach community, Nutrient Management Solutions

Comments 7
11/17/14, updated

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  |  Customized Water Systems  |  Modesto, CA commented

Hello Franz thanks for quick http://feedback.We are tracking infiltration depths with GPS moisture probes wirelessly connected to the matched Software package to track improvements. Using either the frequency drivenC2A0 Hydrosmart water systems or the ESP frequency driven water systemsWater Infiltration root zone depth is faster and deeper. On almonds we are seeing approx. 18" deeper penetration infiltration. We will be in Phoenix at the Irrigation show this week. If you are wondering where to get more info go to http://www.hydrosmart.com.auC2A0 Or http://www.customizedwatersystems.comWe own USA distribution support on these non flow restricted water systems. The systems creates scalar energy wetter water with hydrogen bonds broken. Wetter water soaks in the ground faster and breaks up scale into usable root nutrients in high TDS water. Units are all Green http://performance.We are dropping 3 more ESP... Read More
11/25/14 10:31 PM

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Mike Byrne  |  Solid Ground Farm llc  |  Belchertown, MA

Subject: DIY irrigation Media Filter

Hello, I'm trying to build a media filter for an irrigation system, likely using two54 story, two 45 gallon drums and pvc piping. It uses sand and gravel, water is forced through the danged. I have a general schematic, bit not enough details. I know that a pressure relief, I mean air vent, is involved. Specifically, I am quivering what size air purged I will require. Any information helps. Thanks.

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Comments 3
11/04/16

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  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

I don't even know my own system works. However, I will will say that if you are running 40 GPM through a filter that can only handle 9, your big problem is going to be volume not pressure. If the filter is only designed to handle 30 gpm of water flow, you are very quickly going to overwhelm its ability to filter the water.

You should be able to put a simple valve before the media filter to restrict the flow going in. It should not damage your pump, however, it's a waste of energy because the pump will run at the same speed it normally does.

The 9 GPM capacity of the filter will also cause you problems down the line, as I mentioned in one of my previous replies, unless your irrigation system is sized or controlled to only use that much water (or preferably less). You will lose pressure and the filtration will stop working.

My concern with anyone trying to DIY this is that even using

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11/07/16 2:34 PM

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Jacob Roberson  |  Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)  |  Fresno, CA

Subject: Food Safety Regional Lead for Tulare, Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties

Good Morning Ya'll,

My name is Jacob Roberson and I am the Food Safety Regional Lead for Tulare, Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties for a non-profit organization called Community Alliance with Family Farmers (new to Fresno area). CAFF is well established all over California except for the Central Valley which is where I am based out of (Fresno to be exact). I wanted to use this post as a source to contact farmers who are struggling with food safety and cannot afford to hire an outside consultant to come to their farm, perform assessments, help with documentation, and get their farm ready for a 3rd party audit. I perform the same duties as an outside consultant but my service is no cost to the farmer. CAFF is a non-profit organization looking to better food safety standards and procedures practiced on small farms / farms at a disadvantage (financial hardships, language barriers, new farmers, etc.).

Food

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In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Pest & Disease Management, Water & Irrigation, Harvesting, Washing, Packing & Packaging, Waste Management, Food Safety, Trucks, Delivery & Logistics, Certifications, Wildlife Management, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Anything Goes

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Comment 0
06/09/17
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Mike Byrne  |  Solid Ground Farm llc  |  Belchertown, MA

Subject: Cold weather irrigation advice needed

I have questions about using irrigation systems in cold weather. I live in new England, where vegetable growers may like to be using an irrigation system in march, April, and may, where the night temperatures can often be below freezing. I'm trying to imagine how this can be done without damaging the system.
I use an above ground electric centrifugal pump that pushes 40GPM though 1.5" black poly tubing. The entire system is above ground, including a bulky 50 gallon media filter.
I am imagining that in order to use the system in spring, my ideal move would be to build a foundation for the pump, valves, and media filter.. So it would be underground. Then bury the lines as deep as practically and economically possible...12 - 18"using a single shank subsoiler and cheap trailing tube feeder attachment. I would also need to install valve boxes at every connection in the mainline, and every place there will be

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Comments 3
11/04/16

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  |  Solid Ground Farm llc  |  Belchertown, MA commented

thanks good information. I was talking about burying them

mainline hat deep, not the headers or dripline...anyway, its probably overkill. I like otour idea of just leaving the valve itself exposed...that could work... Typically I will have a few hours of warmer day temps to help thaw out frozen sections before I start pumping.

11/06/16 7:18 PM

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Emma DePiro  |  University at Buffalo  |  Buffalo, NY

Subject: Quick Interview About Irrigation Systems

Hello All,
I am a Mechanical Engineering Student at the University at Buffalo in New York. I am working with a few other students on our senior design project, and our project is to create an irrigation system that will better conserve water. We're seeking information on current irrigation systems, as well as what consumers would like to see in future irrigation systems. Is there anyone I can do a quick phone or email interview with about the topic?

Here are the questions, please reply to any or all questions!

  1. What specific services does your organization provide?

  1. To you, what are the most important functions of an irrigation system?

  1. What are your biggest problems with current irrigation systems?

    1. What changes would you recommend?

  1. Do you find that certain crops or areas do not get enough water, while others get too much?

    1. What do you believe causes this?

    2. How do you try to regulate

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Comment 0
10/22/16
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Patrick Mitchell  |  Wayside Farm  |  Castaic, CA

Subject: Well pumps and sleeve liners

We are having some well and pump issues. I will start by saying my knowledge of wells is minimal. I want to turn on a pump and get water to my field. Over the past year I have learned much more than that but still have a long way to go. We have an old well shaft with a newer 200hp electric motor that is way too much for the draw that we require. I was hoping to have the shaft repaired/cleaned and a smaller 25hp submersible pump installed. I was told by a well company that they have a patented corrosive cleaner that will clean my sleeve and no brushing would be necessary. Does anyone have experience with this type of project and can offer advise? Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you all.

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Comment 0
09/13/16
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Brandon Sanders  |  RobinSong Farms  |  Templeton, CA

Subject: melon and watermelon irrigation

When is the best stage to back off/shut off water on melons and watermelons (Or does anyone just keep watering??)? We have fruit at a very wide range of stages, and we still have flowering as well. some watermelon are almost twenty lbs, while others are barely pollinated. Our honeydew are 4 weeks from our 'days to maturity' and the watermelon are 3 weeks out.

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Comments 5
07/24/16

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  |  RobinSong Farms  |  Templeton, CA commented

Thank you Paul and Helmut! That is very, very helpful. We will try preirrigating for planting next year (we preirrigated, but only a short set to make hand planting easier in cloddy soil). And I will take a break, then give more water next year. We gave 12 hours per week at the peak. Only 6 hours at the beginning and just recently. And I will take your advice and shut the water off in about a week, then regroup for he second crop. Thanks so much... It's very much appreciated!

07/25/16 1:04 PM

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