Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Agriculture faces a big challenge

growing corn with center pivotWorld's population is growing quickly, and we're not only talking about adding more people, we're talking about more people with better lives. 

Agriculture faces a big challenge, it has to produce food to feed 9 billion people by 2050. Experts say that there will be no enough resources to provide food for our population. Moreover, some aquifers under the surface are going down the drain. 

Farmers can't grow corn without irrigation, or it wouldn't be the kind of irrigation production that they're used to using. While dryland corn averages 24 bushels an acre, irrigated corn averages 200 bushels an acre. So the risk with dryland is important. The loss of irrigation would mean less income, fewer business, a decline in land values...

The answer is not shutting off every center pivot. Farms and irrigation communities will never accept to stop watering with machines that make their local agricultural production be sustainable.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The best crop insurance is irrigation

center pivot irrigation system
Irrigation is one of the most important factors that contribute to agricultural prosperity. Uniform and timely applications of water to crops help to avoid water losses in long dry seasons, and produce revenues by increasing crop yields in normal seasons. Irrigation creates more predictable yields and a reduction in risk that is so important to farmers. In fact, we might even say that the best crop insurance is irrigation.

Most farmers started to invest in irrigation after the Second World War, primarily focusing on high-value vegetable crops and not on grain crops. The irrigation of potatoes, sweet corn, beans, tomatoes and other vegetables improved yield and quality. In those days, irrigation systems were moved by hand across the field and water usually came from ponds.

Center-pivot systems began to appear, irrigating larger acreages without the need for hand labor.

With the emergence of the poultry industry, the demand for grain corn as a primary feed source grew rapidly. A lot of farmers responded by investing in center pivot irrigation systems. But this irrigation system is not only useful to feed poultry industry, but it also mitigates nutrient movement to groundwater and streams by enhancing the uptake of nutrients by crops.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pivot irrigation systems are bad for roads

center Pivot watering the road
The complaint is nothing new, but it usually doesn't come from just one farmer. Everybody knows that Pivot irrigation machines are the best solution for crops but are bad for roads.

During the Mississippi County Commission that took place on Thursday, the commissioner said that he received a complaint about some center pivot irrigation systems hosing down roads with the end guns. When the center-Pivot water is hitting gravel roads, it erodes and ends up making ruts there. Besides, the water from end guns also damages paved roads.

The person who made the complaint wants that this farmer to not let his irrigation end guns hit the road and wants other farmers to have the same consideration for county property.

The problem can be solved in five minutes, just by turning off the end gun. But it may not be the hassle of turning off the end gun as much as not wanting to leave three to five acres without irrigation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lower levels of arsenic in rice

irrigated rice field

By using pivot irrigation

A report published in the American Chemical Society journal ('Environmental Science & Technology') reveals that the use of center-pivot irrigation to grow rice can reduce the concentration of arsenic in rice. The concentration found is 50 times lower than rice grown under flood irrigation.

At present, many research projects are being carried out about the use of pivot irrigation in growing rice, rather than the traditional field flooding methods, in the United States and worldwide. This particular study took place in Italy.

Consumers are concerned about this matter worldwide, especially in the regions where rice is a staple food source, as it is extremely toxic and carcinogenic. Arsenic is found throughout the environment—in water, air and soil. Human activities also add arsenic to the environment. Rice comes from all over the world and is grown very differently from region to region, which may greatly vary the levels of arsenic within the same kind of product.

Arsenic can be absorbed by the rice plant, particularly in fields with continuous flooding.

As demand for rice increases, a solution to this issue is needed. Growers must identify a profitable method to grow rice with center pivot sprinkler irrigation.