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irrigation, South Dakota, crop production, farmland


South Dakota ranks twentieth in the nation in its irrigated acreage. Depending on how "irrigation" is defined, South Dakota has between 450,000 and 500,000 acres of irriqated land. About 375,000 acres has been developed under State-issued permits by private individuals and groups. An additional 66,450 acres comprise the Belle Fourche and Angostura Federal Irrigation Projects, although in any one year not all of this land is necessarily irrigated. About 52,300 acres of "dry draw, spreader" irrigation involves the intermittent backing up of water behind dams in small creeks for occasional irrigations by farmers and ranchers in the West River Region. Finally, about 15,000 acres are irrigated under vested water rights originating before 1907 and by Indian tribes. The primary source of ambiguity in the irrigation statistics for South Dakota is whether "dry draw, spreader" irrigation is included in the count.


Economics Research Report 83-4