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Tag Archives: drip irrigation economics
Colorado’s agricultural industry faces direct energy expenses of more than $400 million annual that account for 7% of the industry’s overall expenses. Now there is a new statewide dairy and irrigation energy efficiency program available to ag producers.
The new initiative, geared toward dairies and irrigators, will provide energy services to a minimum of 80 agricultural producers annually for three years. Program participants will receive: Continue reading
This Drip Irrigation infographic highlights just a few of the many good reasons why switching to drip is a good idea. Continue reading
Although center pivot sprinkler irrigation (CP) is the predominant irrigation method in the US Great Plains, there is growing interest in the use of subsurface drip irrigation (SDI). Pressurized irrigation systems, in general, are a costly investment. Producers need to carefully determine their best investment options. In 2002, Kansas State University developed a free Microsoft Excel template to compare the economics of center pivot sprinkler irrigation and subsurface drip irrigation for field corn (maize) production.
This template has been updated annually with new input and revenue costs and assumptions. Important factors that have always affected CP and SDI competitiveness are field size and shape suitable for center pivot sprinkler irrigation and longevity of SDI system allowing longer amortization of its greater initial cost. The primary factors that allow SDI to have greater economic competitiveness than was the case in 2002 are greater corn yields and corn price. Using the base assumptions in the template for a square 160 acre field, an SDI system lasting at least 11 years can be cost competitive with a center pivot sprinkler with a life of 25 years.
As the worst drought in 50 years gripped America’s farmland in the summer of 2012, and crop failure was rampant, three Nebraska producers reported increased soybean yields and significantly lower water use at the same time by using Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) to deliver water and nutrients directly to the roots of their crops. This was in contrast to the typical practice of applying water to the surface with gravity or sprinkler irrigation systems. In addition to improved yields and resource use efficiency (RUE), other benefits cited included an improved ability to farm in drought conditions, improved flexibility and improved convenience. In each of these case studies, the producer found SDI a worthwhile investment. Continue reading