Features of the raingun – Raingun is a powerful mega sprinkler that throws a large amount of water (upto 500 liters per minute) to a good distance (radius of 90 feet and even more) as artificial rain. It offers a number of benefits to the farmer. It reduces water consumption by 50 per cent as compared to flood irrigation in achieving the same yield.
As a result of the reduced water consumption with the raingun irrigation system, large savings accrue. Irrigation time comes down (60 percent time is saved) and power consumption comes down. Also, raingun irrigation is less labour intensive than flood irrigation. It increases crop yield by 10 percent as sugarcane farmers have experienced. Fertilizers can also be applied with the raingun irrigation system, reducing consumption of fertilizers. Irrigation with the raingun washes away pests like aphids, white flies etc.
The raingun irrigation systems supports the highly recommended practice of trash mulching in sugarcane, which is a process of converting trash into nutrient for the crop. As the cane grows, the trash is stripped from the cane so that the cane is protected from pests and diseases. At the same time, the trash is valuable as it has a lot of nutrients. However, farmers do not make ready use of this available nutrient and resort to clearing it or setting it on fire to manage the huge quantity of trash. Mulching is a practice whereby the trash is used as a soil cover to aid moisture retention, prevent proliferation of weeds and the trash itself is eventually converted into nutrition. The raingun irrigation system gives farmers the ability to practice trash mulching successfully. While the raingun has been developed with sugarcane in mind, it can also be applied with excellent results to a number of other crops such as groundnut, tapioca, onion, potato, maize and forage crops etc.
Permanent system – In permanent system of installation raingun riser stands are permanently fitted to solid set pipeline network. Riser can also be supported by cement concrete block around the riser.
Semi permanent system – In semi permanent system pipeline network can be permanent and raingun riser stand or only raingun shifted from one location to other. Raingun fiser stand can be made detachable by using HDPE Quick-ConnectTM male connector at riser and Quick-Connect TM female connector at pipe end. HDPE pipe in coil/hose of required size and length attached with G.I. insert joint on one end and Quick-ConnectTM female joint on the other end, can also serve as the pipe network. Alternatively, raingun alone can be shifted over permanently installed risers using quick release key and/or quick coupling valve.
Shiftable system – In shiftable system entire pipeline network along-with raingun riser stand and raingun can be shifted from one location to another. Easily detachable Quick-ConnectTM pipes are used for this purpose. Quick-ConnectTM pipes can be connected to raingun riser stand using male connector. Flexible HDPE coil/hose can also be used in shiftable system. Raingun trolly can be used for easy movement of raingun from one place to other.
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