Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




This study is directed towards the existing pattern of operation typical on many farms in the Great Plains. It does not consider radical innovations in technology, but is based on the suitability of adoption of irrigation into existing farm plans with figures based on fanning operations and irrigation systems which have been employed in progressive agriculture under both dryland and irrigated conditions. The study does not anticipate the adoption of revolutionary, specialized crops, but relies on attained yields for dryland and projected yields with irrigation of crops presently being grown. The study does not assume an influx of management and skills via new immigrants to the area but submits that the required labor can be furnished, and skills learned by the resident population. In brief, the extent of irrigation anticipated would be feasible for the family farm, supported by privately developed sources of water, technically manageable for the present or future area residents, and compatible with other enterprises presently in combinations typically occurring in family units. The analysis assumes direction by economic incentive. Conclusions may show cause for specialization in enterprises and for technical research, and also needs for credit and educational programs. Investigations into physical resources in Eastern South Dakota have provided evidence of unallocated aquifer water supplies of sufficient quantity and satisfactory quality underlying soils of types suitable for irrigation using modern techniques, including sprinkler methods. Areas of the Upper Midwest and the Northern Great Plains have not generally shared in productivity gains comparable to other areas of the nation which have applied new technology to greater advantage through specialization. Brookings County agriculture is taken in this study as representative of those areas which have remained in general farming.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Irrigation -- South Dakota -- Brookings County



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University