A grower who produces rice with a center pivot can be 5% more profitable than if he had flooded his field. Data collected throughout the years, on traditional and non-traditional rice fields, have recorded cost savings that rice producers have experienced with center pivot irrigation and linear machines versus flood.
Though a rice producer may use more pesticides and herbicides with a center pivot, the fertilizer costs remain the same as with a flooded field. Because a rice field irrigated with a center pivot does not need to be flat, and crop protection products can be applied through the irrigation machine, growers may see a 75 percent or more difference in labor costs, and a 50 percent or more difference in maintenance costs. Compared with a flooded field, fuel costs are also lower for rice produced with a center pivot due to a significantly smaller volume of water that is pumped throughout the growing season.