Upgrading Chemigation Systems: It's Cheaper than You Think

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A chemigation system can be upgraded and made more efficient without the high cost of total replacement.

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A dealer can simply design a bracket to hold the old pump on the new base, and everything else will fit right on the base with it.

With the advances in chemigation made in the last decade, there are undoubtedly many farmers who know that upgrading their fertigation and insectigation systems would be highly beneficial. Improvements in chemical distribution accuracy, the wider variety of system options, modernization of the machinery itself and its improved durability are attractive reasons. To anyone who cannot afford to make such upgrades, it will come as good news that less-expensive chemigation system components can be replaced, greatly increasing efficiency without greatly increasing the price.

A chemigation system consists of a base, tank, a pump, an agitator (mixer), switches and controls, but the pump is normally its most expensive element. That pump can be kept, and less-expensive system elements such as the base, the agitator, the tank and controls can be replaced with more modern, accurate and durable equipment.

“You can just add any accurate pump to a new basic chemigation system. The basic system includes the base, the tank, the calibration column, the switches, and the agitation motor,” says Arnold Page, a manufacturer’s representative for Agri-Inject, Incorporated, one leading manufacturer of the more modern alternatives. “A dealer can simply design a bracket to hold the old pump on the new base, and everything else will fit right on the base with it.”

The gains to be had are substantial. For example, the newer tanks are made of polyethylene, which is fully resistant to chemical wear and tear and will handle the whole range of chemicals used in the tanks, from fertilizers to insecticides. They are cone-shaped so that that chemical does not remain in “pockets” within the tank and unused, as it often does in flat-bottomed tanks, and is also much lighter than the older, painted steel tanks. The domed top adds further weather-resistance to that already available from the polyethylene property.

Additionally, agitation equipment is set and positioned within the tank in such a way that optimum chemical mix is achieved for the farmer’s particular use. Because of this, the chemical mix is far more accurate than that available from the older systems. More traditional agitation methods such as recirculating pumps can actually break down the structure of the chemical due to the amount of agitation.

A variety of tank sizes are available depending on needed application. Smaller tanks are available in capacities from 10 to 30 gallons. The medium ranges from 70 to 200 gallons, and the large sizes, usually used in commercial farming, ranges in capacity from 300 to 600 gallons. The agitator, controls and base are the same design for all sizes.

Accuracy is also increased with the calibration columns included with the new systems. The percentage of chemical being delivered through a pivot, drip or other type of irrigation system can be set on a pump, but Agri-Inject’s included calibration system will allow the chemical mixture to be accurately monitored and adjusted as needed.

The system also comes equipped with 2 switches, one that controls the agitation motor and one which directly controls the pump. This adds control so that they can be run separately or together.

Flexible chemigation systems such as those from Agri-Inject make it possible to take advantage of the most modern chemigation technology without the investing in a whole new system.

For more information about this article or chemigation and fertigation systems, call Arnold Page at Agri-Inject at 1-800-446-5328, 5500 East Highway 34, Yuma, Colorado 80759 or Email: inject@plains.net or visit their website at http://www.agri-inject.com to locate a dealer near you.

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