Bringing sustenance

“To most people this is just dirt, to farmers this is potential.”

ft (1 of 1)
Loveland, Colorado

When flying over the arid high plains and western United States, you may have looked out the window and noticed the neat grid patchwork of farms and fields common in the east gives way to circular patterns of green and russet. No, these aren’t alien crop circles, but circular fields produced by center pivot irrigation systems.

Because of the rain shadow created by the Rocky Mountains, these irrigation systems, and others like them are essential to agriculture in these dry lands east of the mountains and bring much needed moisture to sustain crops in these areas.

The center pivot irrigation system is a form of overhead sprinkler irrigation made up of several segments of pipe joined together and supported by overhead trusses, mounted on wheeled towers with sprinklers positioned along its length. The machine moves in a circular pattern from the center point and is fed with water usually pumped up from underground aquifers.


22 thoughts on “Bringing sustenance

  1. I love looking at “my” valley (San Luis Valley) on Google maps. It’s a bizarre geometry, gives a different meaning to the catch phrase, “The circle of life.”

          1. I took it to wp and we’ll see what they say. I haven’t heard of this happening from anyone else — but maybe you’re the first person ever in the history of the universe to click on my name from a comment!

          2. Someone told me a while back that they were having trouble getting to my blog too. That person told me to go to my gravitar and make sure my blog was linked on there.

  2. Great photo! I’ve seen these often from the air, and thought they might be related to irrigation–but couldn’t imagine how they worked! Often these days I’m seeing dry patches where I’m assuming there used to be green. Thanks for the like today!

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