said he ties the drip hoses up to the goose- neck drop hoses at the end of the season to prevent deer from stepping on them over the winter. Worse yet, deer seem to want to chew on the drip hoses (possibly due to calcium in the irrigation water) if they can reach them. Once spring arrives, he simply unties and inspects all the drip hoses prior to first use and enjoys near maintenance-free performance until fall.

Some 80 miles north, near Stratford, Texas, Jon Engelbrecht has seen similar results from a mobile drip system he installed on an electric pivot in early 2016.

“The key ingredient down here is water,” he agrees. “There’s only so much we can use each year and you’re talking real dollars for every extra inch you pump. With the hybrid system, we’re using just two-thirds the amount of water we were using with a regular nozzled sprinkler.”

Engelbrecht explains that instead of making a full circle with the pivot every nine to 10 days, he can make a circle with the hybrid

unit in eight days. More importantly, the water does not run off or pool in low areas, but it is seeping into the ground and soaking underneath between the hoses.

“Another major benefit is that the wheel tracks stay dry, since the hoses are being dragged along behind the unit,” he adds. “The other thing my guys like is that they can work on or around a pivot while it is running without getting wet.”

Engelbrecht says he is already planning to install hybrid systems on more pivots over the winter, bringing the total to nearly 1,000 acres.

Photo credit: T-L Irrigation; photographer: Tharran Gaines

Tharran Gaines is the founder and owner of

Gaines Communications, with over 35 years of experience as a writer, editor and photographer.

 equipment with a Hitachi variable speed drive.


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