P&J Ranches Producer Steve Burke (black baseball cap) and other landowners use water from the Ruby Reservoir at the base of the Ruby Mountains where water flows along the West Bench Canal, just above the mountain base, above the farmlands; along the way, improved U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded control valves allow water through debris grates and additional (self-cleaning) rotating cylindrical algae filter screens before entering inlets to funded Irrigation Water Management systems and into the (gravity-flow) Irrigation Pipeline that supplies five center-pivot and one wheel-line Sprinkler System without the use of pumps in Sheridan, MT, on August 28, 2019.
The elevation drop from the canal to the sprinklers provides the needed water pressure to efficiently spray water out of the hanging sprinkler nozzles and the gun sprinklers with a rocker-arm drive. This improved water availability, reduced irrigation labor, reduced runoff and erosion, reduced water use, increased yield, cut costs.
Mr. Burke worked with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) District Conservationist John Wagoner (tan baseball cap and sunglasses) and NRCS Soil Conservation Technician Clayton Marxer (straw cowboy hat).
The irrigation sprinklers systems are fully controlled and monitored from his smartphone connected to the local rural broadband network.
To check the soil health, Mr. Burke uses a hand auger to drill into the soil and pull out samples from his crops.
At this time, he is busy operating a combine to harvest the wheat from the fields. Then his son Steve Burke, Jr., uses stacker equipment to collect the big straw bales quickly.
USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
Irrigation System Sprinkler System (Practice Code 442) is an irrigation system in which all necessary equipment and facilities are installed for efficiently applying water by means of nozzles operated under pressure. for more information, please see nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb1046885.pdf
Irrigation Pipeline (Practice Code 430) is an irrigation pipeline and its appurtenances that are installed as part of an irrigation system to convey water for storage or application. For more information, please see nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/water/?cid=nrcs144p2_027153
Irrigation Water Management (Practice Code 449) Irrigation water management is the process of determining and controlling the volume, frequency, and application rate of irrigation water in a planned, efficient manner. For more information, please nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ny/technical/cp/?cid=nrcs144p2_027155
For more information, please see:
Conservation Practices - usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/technical/cp/ncps/?cid=nrcs143_026849
NRCS – NRCS - nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/
FPAC - Farm Production and Conservation - usda.gov/our-agency/about-usda/mission-areas
USDA - USDA.gov. Original public domain image from Flickr