Agricultural Engineering Department
irrigation, sprinkler irrigation
Many farm operators wish to reduce weather risks in the production of high-income farm products, realizing, even in comparatively wet years, the detrimental effects of short drought periods during the growing season. A number of farmers in all sections of South Dakota have limited water supplies from which they could irrigate part of their land. Quite often, sprinkler irrigation will fit into their farm management program to a greater advantage than surface irrigation. In the first place, suitable areas for surface irrigation are scattered, and land preparation equipment and operators skilled for land leveling work are not available. Secondly, the skill required to irrigate with sprinklers is often much less than that needed with surface methods. A dry-land farmer can learn in progressive stages the science of irrigation farming if the system is properly designed and a knowledge of the plant and soil is available. Also, in nearly all instances, only part of the farm is irrigated, with the remainder of the farm operated as it has been in the past. In such instances the time schedule works out to a better advantage with sprinklers than with surface methods of irrigation. Lastly, better utilization of limited water supplies is possible with sprinklers. All sprinkler irrigation systems will not be successful. In some cases, surface methods would be more successful, and in some, the land should not be irrigated, regardless of the method used. Those planning to irrigate should first investigate the quantity and quality of water to be used and ex amine the soil as to suitability for irrigation. The right to use water for irrigation purposes is of great importance. Regardless of the source of water supply, it is necessary to obtain a water right or permit.
South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station
Wiersmia, J. L., "ABC's of Sprinkler Irrigation" (1952). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 92.