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