Development of a Variable-Rate Pivot Irrigation Control System
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A Variable-Rate Irrigation (VRI) control system that enables a center pivot irrigation system (CP) to supply water in rates relative to the needs of individual areas within fields was developed through a collaboration between the Farmscan group (Perth, Western Australia) and the University of Georgia Precision Farming team. The VRI system varies application rate by cycling sprinklers on and off and by varying the CP travel speed. Desktop PC software is used to define application maps which are loaded into theVRI controller. The VRI system uses GPS to determine pivot position/angle of the CP mainline. Results from VRI system performance testing indicate good correlation between actual and target application rates and also shows that sprinkler cycling on/off does not alter the CP uniformity.