Sugarcane is one of the world’s most widely grown crops – and one of the most versatile. In addition to the raw and refined sugar supplied to the food industry, the milling process also generates byproducts, which can range from alcohol to molasses. These can be used in an array of first and second-generation products – including fertilizers, animal feed, ethanol, and even biofuel.
One of the market leaders in this growing agro-industry is the Pantaleón Group, whose current annual output is 1,204 million tons of sugar and byproducts. Founded in 1849 in Guatemala, the organization now also has major operations in Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile and the US, and exports its products to over 40 domestic and international destinations.
Ethics & sustainability. Pantaleón is renowned for its active commitment to the responsible transformation of resources. This dedication to a minimized environmental footprint is also found in the organization’s farming practices. We had the pleasure of visiting one of Pantaleón’s large-scale operations on the Mexican Gulf coast, where irrigation specialist Ely Quezada offered insights into the company’s agricultural approach.
Climatic challenges. “Here in the Veracruz area, we currently cultivate a total of 9500 hectares,” Quezada explains. 40 mechanized irrigation machines – mostly pivot and linear systems – are used across numerous land parcels, along with around a hundred solid sets with high-volume guns. Given the region’s limited precipitation, choosing the best possible irrigation equipment is of paramount importance. “Our success depends on our ability to counteract climatic challenges such as high temperatures, solar radiation and intense winds,” the expert continues. “What we need are efficient, technically advanced sprinklers that will combat wind drift and evaporation – ensuring a uniform distribution pattern across the entire irrigated area.”
“We need efficient, technically advanced sprinklers that will combat wind drift and evaporation.”
Optimal irrigation. With these criteria in mind, the company turned its attention to Komet Irrigation. “We are increasingly implementing Komet equipment for irrigation systems,” Quezada explains. “We initially started out with the Twin Ultra 101, 140, 160 and 202 big sprinklers, which offer a highly efficient operation even at low pressures. More recently, we also tested some Komet Precision Twister (KPT) center pivot sprinklers on our pivot systems. Because of the excellent results we achieved, we went on to choose the Komet KPT as our primary model for sprinkler irrigation.”
The Komet Precision Twister (KPT) ranks among the manufacturer’s flagship model for sprinkler irrigation. Distinguished by a 3-D Motion System – whereby the deflector rotates around the central sprinkler axis, as well as its own inclined axis – the KPT is specifically designed to deliver optimal irrigation in even the most challenging environments.
Thanks to its exceptionally uniform distribution pattern, the KPT is able to facilitate a lower instantaneous application rate – which, in turn, ensures optimal soil infiltration, and minimizes the risk of run-off and ponding. Another distinguishing feature of the KPT is its consistent droplet size across the entire wetted diameter, which effectively prevents the loss of water through wind drift and misting.
Thanks to its unparalleled performance at all pressure levels (from 6 – 20 psi), the KPT facilitates a low-cost, highly efficient operation even at very low pressures. This is combined with an extensive lifespan of heavy-duty, peak-level performance – a great feat, considering that the performance of most sprinklers starts to wane after 2500 running hours.
All of these advantages culminate in an outstanding sprinkler model, which – along with the high-volume guns of the Komet Twin Ultra series – will ensure successful yields on Pantaléon’s fields in Mexico for many growing seasons.