“Technology is wonderful, but it’s also attractive to thieves,” says Andries Bothma, Production and Sales Manager from Rotrix Africa. He told NAMPO-visitors about the reliable solution for irrigating small fields, pastures, and vegetable fields.
The traveling irrigators only need a water supply and no electricity. The fact that there are no power cables that can be stolen makes it less desirable for thieves. On top of that, you can hook your Rotrix Africa unit behind your bakkie and move it to a secure location such as a shed to keep it safe and sound at night.
Andries says that he knows about farmers with advanced, automated irrigation systems who have given up hope due to theft, high costs, and the unreliability of electricity supply.
With Rotrix Africa’s traveling irrigators, you can irrigate your crop straight from a dam, storage tank or borehole with a minimum of 3 bar water pressure. To further help farmers, Rotrix Africa also developed a power solution: The new diesel-driven pump was showcased at NAMPO. Farmers can install it close to the water source or move it with the irrigator freeing them from finding electricity supply. It is a welcome option to farmers who cannot rely on the unpredictability of rain in hot, dry Africa.
For the past 35 years, Rotrix has faithfully improved and refined their traveling irrigation systems. The structure is made from fully galvanized steel to prevent rust, and the wheels are suitable for road use as well as surviving the conditions in your field without getting stuck.
Another great advantage of a Rotrix Africa-traveling irrigator is how easy it is to use and to fix.
“If a farmer needs help, we are there, but they usually manage on their own because the parts are widely available at any Co-op,” says Andries.
Andries says their biggest market is livestock farmers and equestrian farms, but that does not mean that grain farmers are excluded. For example, The Cane Master-model is a sturdy fellow that has greatly benefitted their client, Kagera Sugar, from Tanzania. The sugar estate plantation has 140 Cane Master systems that are moved to where needed.
Commercial farmers who use underground drip irrigation use the Rotrix Africa irrigation systems to wet the topsoil and keep it moist for optimal seed germination. It helps the young plants to develop roots and grow strong to reach the underground water.
Due to the cost-effectiveness of these irrigation systems, it is easier for a farmer to have multiple units in various areas.
The smaller models, like the Clubman or Sportsman, are often used by schools, municipalities, and sports stadiums. Most commercial farmers are familiar with the Rhino 300 and the Rainmaker 200.
The four-wheel Rhino 300 irrigates distances of 100, 200, or 300 meters at a width of 50 meters in one go. The Rainmaker can irrigate lanes of 200 meters and is available in two- or four-wheel units.
This is how they work
The unit is placed on one side of the field. Its durable Oroflex water pipe gets rolled out to the water supply in the centre of the field. The steel cable is then rolled out to the opposite side of the field where it is anchored. The cable is thus twice as long as the water pipe.
Part of the water stream is used with a 4 mm sprayer to rotate a disc that then drives gears and a chain system to reel in the steel cable which pulls the entire unit across the field at the speed of your choice while irrigating the soil evenly.
The two sprayers can irrigate a section of up to 50 meters wide with adjustable drop sizes. The water supply points are normally placed 36 meters apart to ensure proper overlapping.
On the larger models, the height of the sprayers is also adjustable so that sugarcane and maize can get their water like rain from above. A small ladder on the sprayer makes it possible to reach the top of the T-coupling.
When the strip has been irrigated, the water supply is shut off and the pipe can then be rolled up by hand or with the help of a tractor by connecting it to the PTO drive.
Andries says it was pure nostalgia to be back at NAMPO and to see all the familiar faces and new visitors. He invited farmers to visit their factory in Worcester. The Rotrix Africa Group also owns Bushwakka Africa, the manufacturer of Bushwakka 4×4 Adventure Trailers for those people who enjoy the outdoors.
For more information and your nearest agent please visit www.rotrixafrica.co.za for more information.