Close Spacing LEPA Helps Increase Corn Acreage with the Same Amount of Water

Location: 
Mingo , KS
United States

Site Profile

Mingo , KS
United States
Crop
Corn, Wheat and Soybeans
Size
2 pivots over 244 acres
Elevation
3159 ft
Field Slope
~0.5%
Soil Type
Silt Loam
Sprinkler Height
8” to 18”
Sprinklers Spacing
First spans at 90”, remaining three at 39”

I realized what we were doing and the situation that we are in required us to either give up one irrigated circle or find a more efficient means of irrigating. I found that with the LEPA bubbler system allowed us to apply the water we have available in a more productive way. The water that is being applied is resulting in less surface moisture and more beneficial subsoil moisture, this should be all producers goal.”

- Bob Holloway
Bob Holloway has been able to farm 50% more corn (a total of 120 acres) with just 250-300 gpm thanks to LEPA technology.

The Challenge

Bob Holloway’s farm is in a low gallonage area of Kansas, south of Colby and west of Mingo. He irrigates with well water fed from the Ogallala aquifer. In this area, the water table is dropping by about a foot to a foot and half each year, although this year they did receive more rain. Due to water availability, most farms in this area are only able farm corn in half fields – growing half circles of wheat and corn – on 120-acre field.

The Solution

Bob’s dealer in Colby, Kansas helped him modify his irrigation installation converting to close spacing sprinklers with shrouds and bubbler pads. He used 90” spacing on the first two spans, 60” on the next two spans and then switched the three remaining spans to 39” spacing. With field slop of about 0.5%, he mounted the bubblers at about 8” to 18” off the ground.

The Result

Recognizing there are various factors impacting the season end yield results on a farm, Bob feels the change to his irrigation set-up has contributed to the success he is seeing. Bob has been able to farm 50% more corn (a total of 120 acres) with just 250-300 gpm.

Increased Acreage with the Same Water –

  • I realized what we were doing and the situation that we are in required us to either give up one irrigated circle or find a more efficient means of irrigating. I found that with the LEPA bubbler system allowed us to apply the water we have available in a more productive way. The water that is being applied is resulting in less surface moisture and more beneficial subsoil moisture, this should be all producers goal.

Return on Investment –

  • The first conversion had a payback of 1 year with $6.50/bu. corn.  However, with current $3.00/bu levels that is stretched to 2-3 years for a payback. Much shorter than many other farm machinery investments, and this investment can save you money and make you more money with more bushels, especially in very dry hot years.

Better Soil Quality –

  • My fields are minimal tillage. This conserves moisture and helps increase the organic matter.  
  • Water is being used more effectively. In my case, about 25% more water is getting into the root zone. Everyone can see it out here. 

Installed Products