I’m not afraid to face the controversy.

I have expressed doubt about using center pivot irrigation systems here in California before, so I feel obligated to point to this piece on new center pivot systems going in on the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “I’m not afraid to face the controversy.

  1. LizardBreath

    I’m sure this is absolutely impractical from an engineering point of view, but if you can drill a square hole, why wouldn’t you be able to irrigate a square field with a rotating arm? The added complexity/size of the center pivot would make it too expensive?

  2. ScottB

    But maybe a simpler “improvement” to the loss of yield when you inscribe the circular irrigation pattern in the square field would be to put the irrigation system on a water driven “track” so that you’d irrigate a long rectangle with lost arcs in the corners that would be a smaller % loss than the circle-in-a-square loss. There would still be timing issues and concerns about overwatering parts of the field, I guess, so the time varying application of water at different points along the linear track would be an issue. And the added complexity may outweigh the efficiency, as with Lizardbreath’s cool idea (and I loved the link for driling square holes). Still, fun to think about…

    Oh, but [name], what are existing your doubts about the center pivot systems? Did I miss that post?

    Thanks,
    Scott

  3. jim

    What forces square fields? Hexagonal fields would waste less land than square ones. At least as long as the total size of the farm was large compared to the size of a field.