On A Roll

My farmer husband and I have been irrigating all summer. And when I say “my husband and I,” I mean, mostly him, and rarely me. I have a cushy office job and he does the real work.

However, I was along on one trip to help roll out plastic ditch in early July. I am fascinated by the stuff. Whoever came up with it gets a checkmark in the “win” category. Plastic ditch is used in flood irrigation situations and the concept is similar to using gated pipe. On our farm, we have a mixture of flood and pivot irrigation.

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

This is how we put up plastic ditch. First my farmer husband pulled a shallow ditch through the end of the field. This ditcher is nothing fancy, but it works. The dirt ditch helps keep the plastic ditch in place while we roll it out.

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

My farmer husband rigged the plastic ditch up to the pipe that brings the water to the field. Then we stuck a shovel handle through the center of the plastic ditch roll and decided to go for a stroll. We’re romantic like that.

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

We walked the roll out until we ran out of length. All the while we were adjusting to make sure the plastic ditch stayed in the dirt ditch. I told those ditches to play nicely together, and they listened for the most part. I’m well respected like that.

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

We were using only part of a roll and it wouldn’t reach to the end of the field so, we had to combine two lengths of plastic ditch using this coupler. We used wire to unite the two pieces in holy irrigationhood.

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

Then the fun part started when we turned on the water and watched it run through the pipe. Look at all the little bubbles fly by! This is how I entertain myself on the farm. Don’t judge.

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

We tied off the end of the plastic ditch and got down to business punching holes for the gates. As you can guess, I’m incredibly skilled at this, but I let my farmer husband do it for the practice.

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

I followed closely behind with my big blue bucket of black gates (man I love alliteration!). I placed them in the punched holes and then my farmer husband tightened them with the same punch tool.

Farmers in Wyoming explain the use of plastic ditch in their irrigation systems

And that’s how you do it!

The corn was about knee high in early July and now it’s way over my 5’11” head. We’ll start to chop silage and combine corn in September and October. The corn is used to feed cattle (Beef! It’s What’s For Dinner) and the cattle across the land will rejoice when the feed trucks dump their ration into the bunks. And all will be right with the world. The end.

From RealFarmWife Liz Lauck – Wheatland, Wyo.

3 thoughts on “On A Roll

  1. Hi there, I saw your photos and story about earth poly ditch flood irrigating. I wanted to ask some questions about suppliers and tricks of getting started irrigating with that concept. If you or your husband were up for a call or e-mail. I liked the potential of the poly tube earth ditch and wanted to ask some questions about its limitations or if you could refer me to the supplier so I could ask them.

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