The distribution uniformity (DU) of an irrigation zone is how uniformly it applies water. The DU test is an integral part of any irrigation system audit.
|A catch can grid in a research plot|
Last year a major irrigation brand asked our group in Gainesville to begin tests on several of its spray head nozzles and a popular nozzle from a competitor.
|You put a rotor where?: The UCU's Jesus Lomeli in assessment mode|
Before the testing could begin, twelve plots in the research field were selected (three reps per nozzle).
|The research field in Gainesville: 72 plots!|
|Large containers capture water during a specific run time|
|Tubing directs water from head stem into containers|
|Large containers are weighed to determine volume|
|Researcher Bernard Cardenas surveys the can pattern|
|Technician Sara Wynn marks can positions in the plot|
Lower Quarter D.U.
Although the DU data from these tests is analyzed in sundry ways, the foundation for all data is the Lower Quarter DU test.
The percentage the above equation generates classifies the irrigation zone's distribution uniformity as excellent, good, or poor.
All can everything!
We have been conducting DU tests consistently since early December. Recently, we experimented with a grid pattern that left no piece of the plot uncover and allowed for mocking different grid patterns in the data analysis.
|Just what it looks like: 320 cans!|
|...and time flies during data collection!|
Results will be made public in 2014. Stay tuned!