Is Center Pivot Irrigation Worth It?

August 1, 2023

Is Center Pivot Irrigation Worth It?

Center pivot irrigation is a popular method used in agriculture to efficiently water large fields. It involves the use of a large central pivot that rotates around a fixed point, gradually applying water to the crops over a circular area. While this technology has been around for several decades, many farmers still wonder if center pivot irrigation is worth the investment. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of center pivot irrigation, ultimately determining whether it is worth it or not.

Advantages of Center Pivot Irrigation

1. Water Conservation: Center pivot irrigation systems are known for their efficient water usage. By delivering a controlled amount of water directly to the plants, they minimize water loss due to evaporation, run-off, and deep percolation. This can significantly reduce water consumption and contribute to sustainable farming practices.

2. Uniform Water Distribution: The circular motion of the center pivot ensures even water distribution across the field. This helps to prevent under-irrigation or over-irrigation, ensuring that each plant receives an adequate amount of water. As a result, crop yields can be enhanced, leading to higher profits for farmers.

3. Flexible Operation: Center pivot irrigation systems offer flexibility in terms of control and scheduling. They can be easily programmed to adjust irrigation timings and water application rates based on the specific crop requirements and weather conditions. This allows farmers to optimize water usage and adapt their irrigation practices to varying situations.

4. Labor and Time Saving: Unlike traditional flood or furrow irrigation methods, center pivot systems require minimal labor and can be operated remotely. Once the system is set up, it can run automatically, saving valuable time and reducing the need for manual labor in the field. This allows farmers to focus on other important tasks, such as crop monitoring and pest management.

Disadvantages of Center Pivot Irrigation

1. High Initial Investment: One of the main drawbacks of center pivot irrigation is the high upfront cost. Installing a center pivot system involves significant expenses, including the purchase of the pivot itself, installation infrastructure, and electrical connections. This initial investment can be a barrier for small-scale farmers or those with limited financial resources.

2. Energy Consumption: Center pivot systems require a reliable power source to operate effectively. They are typically powered by electricity or diesel engines, resulting in ongoing energy costs. These expenses can add up significantly over time and may impact the overall profitability of the farming operation.

3. Maintenance and Repairs: Center pivot irrigation systems require regular maintenance to ensure their efficient operation. This includes checking and replacing parts such as sprinklers, valves, and control systems, as well as addressing any issues that arise. Maintenance costs, along with the potential for unexpected repairs, should be taken into consideration when assessing the long-term viability of a center pivot system.


After considering the advantages and disadvantages, is center pivot irrigation worth it? The answer depends on various factors, including the scale of the farming operation, available financial resources, and the specific needs of the crops being grown. While center pivot irrigation offers significant benefits such as water conservation, uniform water distribution, flexibility, and labor/time savings, the high initial investment and ongoing energy costs can be deterrents for some farmers.

For large-scale operations with access to capital, center pivot irrigation can be a viable and profitable solution. It can optimize water usage, improve crop yields, and automate irrigation processes, leading to increased efficiency and higher profits. However, for smaller-scale farms or those operating on a tight budget, other irrigation methods may provide a more cost-effective option.

Ultimately, farmers must carefully evaluate their specific circumstances and consult with agriculture experts to determine if center pivot irrigation is the right investment for their operation. Understanding the associated costs, benefits, and industry trends can greatly assist farmers in making an informed decision about adopting center pivot irrigation as a sustainable and efficient farming practice.

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Welcome to B&M Pump Irrigation Sales & Service, Inc.! We are your professional irrigation specialist! Our typical services include complete pump service, water well service, system design, and pivot systems. Here at B&M Pump Irrigation Sales & Service, Inc., we deliver personal service and reliability to our customers in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. No matter where you are in the southwest, B&M Pump Irrigation Sales & Service, Inc., is a name you can trust. We strive to educate owners and operators on making pumps and motors last longer and work more efficiently. We sell good quality products at a fair price and stand behind the products we sell. Give us a call today to speak with one of our service experts today!

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