View Full Version : Does anyone have pasture irrigation experience?

Jun. 17, 2012, 06:20 PM
Specifically, pumping water from adjacent spring fed lake to irrigate 8-20 acres (8 acres are pasture, 12 are hay). The lake is the low point on the property so the water would be pumped up hill and the pastures/fields are hilly - we're wondering if a 9HP pump would suffice, using a big gun type waterer, moved manually. Not sure with the hills, if an automatic sprinkler would even work.

Any thoughts or tips to point us in the right direction will be appreciated.

Jun. 18, 2012, 11:36 AM
It's been years since we've done this, so I'm probably wrong; but IIRC something called a RAM pump is need to lift the water to ground level and another inline pump to actually pump the ground level water into the spray rig.

We are flat, so that would make a difference.

Sod farms here use a reel irrigation system. Lots of black hose on a huge reel that can be tractor moved with a sprayer at the end. I think you can get them sized to different square footage.

Jun. 18, 2012, 04:06 PM
Thanks Viney - your use of proper terminology will help me better research. We don't know where to start at this point. I've contacted the Extension Office, but we aren't blessed with a very good one like some areas area and I haven't heard anything back from them yet. :/.....

Jun. 18, 2012, 08:27 PM
Turns out that there is also something called a Low Lift pump for using surface, not moving water, for irrigation. This one is for human powered low lift pumps.

This is an article on irrigation pumps generally.

And I found this article:

Jun. 18, 2012, 09:46 PM
Awesome - thank you! These are most helpful.

Jun. 21, 2012, 05:38 PM
HA - we use Purdue veg production information for our farm, so I googled pasture irrigation Purdue and came up with this:


We have also found that sitting down with the irrigation company with a map and your needs listed has been the most helpful when coming up with a system.

Call you county NRCS staff and ask to speak with a technician or the Regional Engineer. They should be able to help with pump sizing.

Jun. 21, 2012, 05:47 PM
That is an excellent resource, thank you Benson! My husband is looking at it now. This isn't something we can do this year - we've been totally caught off guard with this dry weather and will be buying hay to get us through winter since our hay crop and pastures are fried. But we think it may be worth the investment in the next year or two - we'll talk to some professionals to be sure.

And you answered another question I've wanted answered for years - I've seen those round fields when flying over parts of the midwest and wondered what in the world they are. Now I know they're fields irrigated with a pivot system!