Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I Is For Irrigation

I'm taking you on a journey from A to Z throughout June Dairy Month.
So come on in...the barn doors are open!
  I Is For Irrigation
Ask any farmer how farming is going, and the conversation will eventually land on a discussion of the weather. That topic will arise sooner rather than later, I might add!
Since a successful crop is so dependent on the weather, and since we rely on a good crop to keep our animals happy, healthy, and productive, it is understandable why Farmer John cares about the weather.
As the summer of 1976 was setting up to be a very dry growing season, the decision was made to purchase our first irrigation system. It was 1,287 feet long, pumped 1,000 gallons of water per minute, and cost us $43,000. We were thrilled beyond belief when it was completed, especially when our area of Minnesota reached 103 degrees on June 9th of that summer.
It takes 52 hours for this irrigator to make a complete circle to water this area.We have since added three additional smaller irrigators to water most of our corn and alfalfa (hay) fields. About 2/3 of our crops are grown on irrigated land. Each year we must apply for a permit to use our irrigation so that it is assured that they are used properly to protect our water resources.
 Of course we would prefer for the rain to water our crops since the cost is better, but it is comforting to know that we have the irrigation system as a reliable back-up plan. Rain, or no rain...our crops still need to grow since we produce everything our animals eat.
PS- It would cost approximately $160,000 if we purchased a 1,287 foot irrigation system at today's prices.

Check back at my post G Is for Giveaway  to enter to win The Dairy Good Cookbook. It's a beautiful book!
 Also, you may want to read my previous years posts for June Dairy Month...

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