Opening of Irrigation Season

J. Patrick McIntyre

 Pat McIntyre, CEO

It feels like spring with the start of day light saving time, increasing temperatures, emerging blooms, greening landscapes and St. Pat’s. The irrigation folks are working hard to bring systems on line, clean the winter residue, repair and fine tune irrigation systems. For my ETwater controllers, I remove my seasonal suspension, run a system check, fine tune and carefully reevaluate my “Rainfall Forecast” feature because in many parts of the country, we get a wet spring.

This month, I opened my Texas based controllers, I looked at my weekly ET and saw that it was increasing weekly from 0.40” to 0.75” and based on the weather forecast, I could see that my average daily temperature was going to increase slightly throughout March. I also saw that I was going to get consistent rainfall every 3-5 days in my 15-day AccuWeather forecast. So, I opened each of my managed controllers, set the 50% moisture balance replenishment so most of my stations irrigated every 4 days, I dropped my rainfall probability to 60% and the number of days in advance to 4 days.

With less than 0.75” weekly ET expected throughout March, daily average temperatures of 60-70⁰ and a regular rainfall forecast, a wet start to the Texas spring allows me to take some risk and “bridge” through irrigation events. I use the wet spring weather for free water with the rainfall forecast tool.

– Pat McIntyre, CEO