Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Engineering


The transition of sugar beet production from Western South Dakota to the southeastern area of the state, in 1964 and 1965, brought many changes in cropping practices. These changes occurred in the preparation of the seedbed, the seeding process, cultivation practices and methods of har�esting. The farmers, who switched to beet production, in this area were confronted with cropping practices that were completely foreign to them. They were offered assistance by Sugar Beet Company fieldmen, Cooperative Extension personnel and South Dakota State University research personnel. With an experienced background in sugar beet production, the company fieldmen were able to direct the farmers in their new cropping practices and general machine operation. However, this new area of production necessitated the advent of irrigation on the majority- of the producers' farms. While irrigation was not new in South Dakota and was not new in the enterprise of beet production, it was new to the farmers in this area. The majority of these farmers had followed the ways of their predecessors and were strictly dryland producers. In view of this lack of knowledge concerning irrigation practices, an educational program was conducted for the operators in this area. The basic principles of irrigation were discussed with the farmers and assistance was provided for them to aid in the establishment of their respective irrigation units. An area irrigation specialist w�s employed to work directly with these farmers to assist them in establishing and maintaining their irrigation systems. After working with these irrigators for a time, it was apparent there was a need for more specific information regarding the actual operating efficiencies of the irrigation units. This information would enable the field specialist to accurately point out the locations of inefficiencies in the respective irrigation systems. With this need in mind two studies were implemented in conjunction with each other. One study was to determine the specific yield and recovery rate of specified irrigation wells. The other study, with which this paper has the main concern, was to determine the operating performance and maintenance of the internal combustion engines being used with the specified wells. The results of these two studies should assist in determining the specific area, in the irrigation pumping plant that needs improvement so that adjustments can be made to improve the- efficiency. This improvement of efficiency could result in a larger net financial return to the respective farmer by lowering his operating expenses.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Internal combustion engines--Combustion.




South Dakota State University