Veteran Advisor
Posts: 5,977
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

Re: Serious points missing

It all depends on how your water rights are written.

Myself, I have a certain number of acres, I can water, with whatver water is necessary, to grow common crops.  Now, if I wanted to grow rice, I may be shut off, trying to flood paddies, but as far as crops normally grown in the area, I can water them as much as I need, but I cannot extend the pivot, or carry out gated pipes past the allowable irrigated acres.


Some people, are limited to a certain number of gallons (or, more specifically, acre feet) that they can use/   In some cases, you can take unused water from one pivot, and give it to another, and in other cases, each pivot is allowed so much water, depending on how your water rights are written.  People who are limited in water, may plant some acres to wheat, which is done with irrigation usually around the end of June, and then see how much water they have left, if any, and re-allocate it to another pivot growing corn or beans.  Others, who cannot take unused water from one pivot, to another, will sometimes plant part of the pivot to a crop that doesn't take as much water, and part to another, and just set the pivot so the crop that needs more water, gets more.

Pivot irrigation isn't bad.  Yes, wrestling flat tires out of the middle of a cornfield stinks, but you don't do it that often.  Gravity irrigation, is where you get your 'excercise'.  The worst are siphon tubes, and the next would be gated pipe.   Last summer, in the worst of irrigation season, I would walk along gated pipe, bending down and either opening or shutting the gates 300+ times (150-175 twice a day), and walking anywhere from 2-5 miles a day, in knee high rubber boots, and when the water ran down the wrong row, mucking into the field with a shovel, digging it down the right row.  

Some of the guys that are on the irrigation districts that are under water rationing  are doing some wheat, because last year, the rationing didn't start until sometime into July, and with wheat, they are done irrigating by then.   If there would be no restrictions on water, they should still be able to get some double crop short season beans in.