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  5. Centre Pivot and Lateral Move systems (CPLM)

Centre Pivot and Lateral Move systems (CPLM)

Centre Pivot and Lateral Move (CPLM) systems are self-propelled sprinkler irrigation systems that apply water to crops, generally from above the canopy.

Centre Pivot systems are anchored at one end and rotate around a fixed central point. Lateral systems are not anchored, and both ends of the machine move at a constant speed up and down a paddock.

CPLM systems require an energy source to move water from the source to the crop as well as energy to move the machine across the farm.

What are the benefits and limitations of Centre Pivot and Lateral Move systems?

The advantages can include: precise application, reduced water application variability, lower labour requirements, opportunities for fertigation and less need for landforming compared with border-check systems.

The limitations can include: costs, energy requirements, and skill requirements. CPLM systems are unable to pass over the majority of native vegetation. The removal of Native Vegetation is discouraged, the requirement to remove vegetation must also be considered and planned for as part of the farm development process.

What needs to be considered in the design stage?

System capacity is the most important design criterion for CPLM systems. In the past many systems were under-designed to minimise costs and they were not able to match peak crop water requirements. Thishas been the most common reason for CPLM system failure.

The system capacity of a Centre Pivot or Lateral Move system is the rate at which water can be supplied to the irrigated area, expressed in millimetres per day (mm/d). It is the main criterion the pump, pipes and sprinkler design is based on.

Adoption of CPLM systems should be discussed as part of the preparation of a Whole Farm Plan to ensure all of the issues relevant to the property and the landholder are identified and understood.

For further information refer to Agnote:

For further information contact:

Agriculture Victoria Irrigation Officers

Tatura – (03) 5833 5222

Echuca – (03) 5482 1922

Kerang – (03) 5473 0180


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