Tag: kansas

Pivot Sprinkler Irrigation Economic Comparison

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.

Click here to find out how SDI compares economically to CP irrigation and to download the whitepaper, “Comparison of SDI and Center Pivot Sprinkler Economics.” Or,

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Cox Valley View Farms, Long Island, KS – Drip Farm Irrigation Systems on Corn and Soybeans

Even before the perfect storm of diminished water supplies, rising corn prices and government cost-share funding hit the plains, Steven Cox knew his irrigated farms would have to change. That’s why he installed his first subsurface drip irrigation system over nine years ago on his 4,000 acre operation, and has installed an additional 120 acres of drip irrigation since.

The conversion has allowed him to stretch limited water supplies while increasing yields and gain quality at the same time. “Before drip, we were trying to flood irrigate 60 acres with a 250 GPM well. We were lucky to get top yields on 25 percent of the field. I now get top yields on 100 percent of the field because of the increased uniformity and efficiency I get with drip.”

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