NRCS Practice Standard: Sprinkler System (442)

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NRCS Practice Standard: Sprinkler System (442)

About the Company:

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.

The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.

Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.

To find a local NRCS Service center click here.

To find the specific guideline for each state click here.

About the Solution:

Sprinkler System (Code 442)

The sprinkler system practice uses a distribution system to apply water through a nozzle that is operated under pressure.

Practice Information

The purpose of a sprinkler system is to apply water uniformly and efficiently to land. The controlled application improves plant productivity, prevents nutrient and other chemicals from leaving the root zone, and improves soil where salt and other chemicals adversely impact the land.

This practice is also used to improve air quality by reducing particulate matter from roads and confined animal pens. The practice can also be used to reduce energy by replacing nozzles on an existing sprinkler system, reducing pressure, reducing flow rate, or increasing distribution uniformity.

Sprinkler system designs are based on an evaluation of the site, considering soil, topography, water supply, energy supply, crops grown, labor, and expected operating conditions.

A sprinkler system is an integral part of a conservation plan based on the capabilities of the natural resources and the needs of the farm enterprise.

This practice has a minimum expected life of 15 years. The operation and maintenance of a sprinkler system includes removal of debris from nozzles; checking nozzle and spray heads for wear; testing pressures and flow rates for proper operation; inspection of pipelines, pumping plant components, and appurtenances; and routine maintenance of mechanical components according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Common Associated Practices

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard Sprinkler System (Code 442) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:

  • Irrigation Water Management (Code 449)
  • Irrigation Pipeline (Code 430)
  • Pumping Plant Code (533)
  • Structure for Water Control (Code 587)
  • Pest Management Conservation System (Code 595)
  • Nutrient Management (Code 590)

  • To view the national NRCS standard Sprinkler System please click here.

    Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, DC United States 1-833-ONE-USDA Visit Company Website

    Solution Type

    • General Support and Other


    • Others


    • Other

    To view additional information about this vendor, click below.

    Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators

    NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.

    General Support & Other:

    • Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
    • Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
    • This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.

    Newtrient Comments/Opinions:

    Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.

    To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.

    The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.

    Newtrient 9-Point Scoring Rating

    View the Scoring Page

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