Friday, August 26, 2011

What's so great about Pivot irrigation?

Benefits to irrigating crops with a center Pivot

Pivot irrigationFlying across the USA, passengers notice green circles and half-circles, on the ground below. Those circles are created when a farmer waters his crops with Pivot irrigation.

There are two major benefits to a Pivot system. The first is simply that plants receive water on a regular, consistent basis. Pivot irrigation systems allow plants to receive water every 3 days, on average. This allows the water to soak into the ground, promoting deep root growth which in turn encourages healthy plants.

The second benefit to a center pivot is that water loss because of evaporation and drifting in the breeze is minimized. Pivots allow the sprinkler heads to be lowered to just inches above the tops of the plants, thus ensuring that most of the water reaches the crop and doesn't blow away in the wind. Water conservation is a serious concern today. Evaporation and wind drift are a concern also because many farmers are allowed a limited amount of moisture to get their crops to harvest.

Varied Terrain is Okay for Pivot Irrigation

Center pivots offer the ability to irrigate fields that have surface slopes that make it impossible to irrigate with surface methods. Many crops benefit from this type of watering system: alfalfa, corn, soybeans, sunflowers and more do very well with Pivots.

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