Best Irrigation Pumps for Agriculture in 2021

Growing plants is as much a science as it is an art. Techniques may differ but every farmer worth their salt knows that you need all the help you can get — specially when it comes to water. Irrigation pumps have helped us improve the way we grow our plants, from the small garden in our homes to full-blown industrial farms.

In this article, I’ve compiled the best irrigation pumps for agriculture for small to medium scale irrigation. Whether you need to pump water from a lake, river, well, or municipal water, we’ve got you covered.

GOULDS Irrigator AMT Booster Honda WB20XT4A

Best overall

Best for larger systems

Best engine powered

Max flow of 88 GPM

Max flow of 157 GPM

Max flow of 164 GPM

Max pressure of 54 psi

Max pressure of 77 psi

Max pressure of 45 psi

Editor Rating: 4.8

Editor Rating: 4.6

Editor Rating: 4.8

The Best Irrigation Pumps for Agriculture

Best for shallow wells, lakes, and rivers

If you’re taking water from a lake, a river, or a shallow well up to 25’ below, a good ol’ self-priming centrifugal pump like the Irri-gator will work for you. The Goulds GT Irri-gator series pumps are built exactly for a reliable irrigation system. Made with durable cast iron and designed with easy serviceability, it’s a pump I’m sure you’d love.

Providing a great mix of pressure and flow, your plants will surely have all the water they need. It’s available in ¾ HP1 HP1 ½ HP2 HP, and 3 HP models with pump curves from Goulds here.

Best for corrosion resistance

When corrosion is just unacceptable, you’ll want the Flotec thermoplastic sprinkler pump. It’s made with fiberglass-reinforced thermoplastic casing for virtually zero chance of corrosion. 

This pump isn’t all about the build though, it’s packed full of power too. You can operate up to 30 sprinkler heads with the 2 HP model. It has a max flow, head, and suction lift of up to 69 GPM, 50 psi, and 25′ respectively.

The Flotec sprinkler pump is available in 1 HP1 ½ HP, and 2 HP models. The performance chart is as shown from Pentair here.

Wayne provides one of the best pumps you can get if you’re in need of portability. The Wayne PLS100 is an awesome little pump you can run almost anywhere to power up your sprinklers. With it, you can take water from a tank, a creek, a lake, a well — all on the same day!

The PLS100 is a stainless steel pump with a max flow of 14 GPM, max pressure of 60 psi, and max suction lift of 20’. It has the perfect mix of price, performance, and portability you could hope for in a sprinkler pump.

Best for larger systems

When you’re watering several acres of land, you need a pump that can keep up. The AMT sprinkler booster pump is a self-priming cast iron pump capable of producing up to 157 GPM of flow or 77 psi of pressure. A true workhorse that was quite hard to find.

It’s a bit expensive but if you want to do the job of two pumps with one, this is the pump to get. The AMT sprinkler booster pump is available in 1 ½ HP, 2, HP, and 7 ½ HP (3 Phase) variants. Check out the curves from AMT here.

Best for boosting municipal water

If you have a small farm and you use municipal water for irrigation but the pressure is too low, you need the Grundfos MQ. It’s a booster pump that adds pressure to the water you’re getting.

The MQ pump is an all-in-one solution combining the pressure tank, pressure switch, and pump in one compact package. It’s made for use in domestic, agriculture, and horticulture applications and can move up to 22 GPH of water with the smaller MQ3-35 reaching up to 51 psi while the larger MQ3-45 going as high as 65 psi. 

Now I only recommend this for those with only a few number of sprinklers since it doesn’t provide that much flow. What I like about it though is that you can also use it to boost pressure for your home as long as you can set it up appropriately.

This Honda water pump is surely a great addition to your farm. It’s powered by the GX120, a 118cc high capacity diesel engine, that you can use almost anywhere outdoors. It’s perfect for sprinkler sysems, surface irrigation, and other dewatering applications. 

The pump is a 4-vane high-efficiency impeller capable of reaching up to 164 GPM or 45 psi. That’s plenty amount of flow which is always welcome. My favorite part though is that it’s super easy to start.

This SEAFLO diaphragm pump is the ideal choice for small gardens and mobile applications. It’s compact yet powerful enough for decent pressure and flow reaching up to 60 psi and 5.5 GPM respectively. Since it’s DC, you can connect it straight to a battery or to a solar panel if you want to. No need for long power cables out in the field.

Future-proof your water supply system with a solar-powered submersible well pump. This kit provides you with the submersible pump, an MPPT DC-DC converter to control the voltage to the pump, a float switch, water level sensors, and cables. It has everything you need, minus the solar panels, for a renewable energy pumping system. 

The corrosion-resistant stainless steel pump is available in two models: the JS3-1.3-50 that can move up to 5.7 GPM or 164’ of head and the more powerful JS3-2.1-100 that can move up to 9.2 GPM or 328’ of head. 

It’s a great way to start going green by watering your pump with the help of the sun!

What is irrigation pump?

An irrigation pump is any type of pump used to provide water to plants. The source of the water could be groundwater, surface water, or municipal water itself. 

Why do you need an irrigation pump?

A pump allows water from a source such as a river or a lake to be transferred to the point of application. It’s a much more effective way of irrigation since it minimizes manual labor and helps you use an otherwise unaccessible water source. 

How does an irrigation pump work?

Irrigation pumps are just like any other water pumps. The most common type uses a motor to spin an impeller that imparts velocity to the water. This velocity is converted to pressure with the help of the shape of the pump’s casing. The pressure allows the water to travel far and high through pipes that lead to a discharge point. 

Buyer's Guide

1. Performance

Head and flow

The first thing you have to know when choosing an irrigation pump is how much water you need. Finding the pump that best fits your system will not only allow you to reach the most remote sprinkler heads, it will also save you from high electricity bills. 

The thing to look out for is the flow and head. The former is usually expressed in GPM or gallons per minute while the latter is either in psi or feet. Flow is obvious but in case you’re not familiar with head, it’s basically the height that can be reached by the pump when pushing the water. A higher head means that the pump can move the water higher and farther which is great if you have zones that are elevated or are at a distance. 

2. Build Quality

A great pump must have a build quality that can withstand the weather conditions on the field. You don’t want to spend all your time doing maintenance on an equipment that’s supposed to help. Heavy duty irrigation pumps might be costly but they’re worth every penny for all the headaches they remove. 

3. Price

Depending on your system, you might need the pump to come with a quirk or two. First is self protection, you want the pump to protect itself if it senses a condition that could damage its components. An example is the dry running protection which stops the pump if it doesn’t sense any water inside while running. This will protect the bearings and seals from damage. 

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