Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agricultural Engineering


A new concept in irrigation system design, catenary trail tube (CTT), uses perforated polyethylene plastic tubes to replace the sprinklers on a center pivot irrigation system. Most of the water can be applied with low energy (41 kPa, 6 psi) in the vicinity of the plant base, away from direct influence of sun and wind at a rate which matches the infiltration rate of the soil. Therefore, the losses due to evaporation, wind drift, and surface runoff can be significantly reduced. A CTT irrigation system with three different tube spacings of 1.5-m, 3.0-m, and 4.5-m was tested and compared with a low energy (41 kPa 6 psi) sprinkler (LES) irrigation system. Corn and soybeans were used as test crops to evaluate water use efficiency, uniformity of water distribution, and water loss due to surface runoff. A comparison of CTT and LES irrigation systems indicated that water use efficiency of 1.5-m tube spacing of CTT irrigation system was greater than other tube spacings and LES. Water application distribution of LES was more uniform than CTT. The water loss due to surface runoff from sprinklers was higher than from trail tubes, especially from wheel-track rows in both corn and soybeans. The overall results indicated that 1.5-m and 3.0-m tube spacings of CTT irrigation system can be considered as the optimum tube spacings. Choosing 3.0-m tube spacing as an optimum spacing. means fewer number of tubes to cover the same irrigated area, which is desirable from the viewpoint of system operation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Irrigation -- Equipment and supplies

Irrigation efficiency

Irrigation engineering



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University