If you are thinking about harnessing the power of center pivot irrigation, you’re probably wondering how much the new system will cost. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer. Since every system is customized to meet the unique needs of the buyer, there is no standard formula for calculating the price per acre.
There are a number of factors that will influence the total cost of your new system, however, that you should consider. Read on to learn what they are:
1. The Size of the System
The larger the system, the more expensive it will inevitably be. The size you need to install will depend on the amount of acreage you want to irrigate and the type of crops you’ll be irrigating. Larger systems have more towers and more sprinklers.
2. The Terrain
Fields with uneven terrain or obstacles, like trees, rocks, and ditches, may require additional site preparation, which can add to the overall cost of the installation.
4. The Type of Sprinkler
There are several types of sprinklers available, and each has different features and spray patterns. You will need a sprinkler that is appropriate for your crop, soil, and climate. Naturally, some sprinklers are more expensive than others.
5. The Control Panel’s Features
The control panel is another critical component that will impact the cost of your center pivot irrigation system. Advanced models with more features and capabilities, such as touch screens and remote control, will be more expensive than their basic counterparts.
6. Energy and Water Source
Most center pivots require electricity, while others operate hydraulically. Further, all center pivot systems require pressure, which can come in the form of gravity, or diesel or electric pumps. Some systems will require a well, which can add significantly to the cost of the system. The cost of installing electricity and pumps, as well as the annual operating costs, are large factors to consider.
7. Any Additional Features
Additional features such as end guns, chemical injection systems, and remote monitoring systems can also impact the total initial cost of a center pivot irrigation system. Give each additional feature careful consideration and weigh the pros and cons of having it before adding it to your package.
If you’ve considered all of the above and you’re still hoping for a tangible number, it helps to look at average costs. According to a study conducted by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, for example, the initial cost to install a center pivot irrigation system in Alabama ranges from $1,100 to $2,100 per acre. These figures include the equipment, as well as site preparation and installation. For more precise figures that are applicable to your operation, contact one of Nelson Irrigation’s center pivot dealers.
Start Designing Your Center Pivot Irrigation System Today
While the initial cost of a center pivot irrigation system can be substantial, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits of having one, including increased crop yields, better crop quality, and reduced water waste. If you’re ready to invest in such a system, reach out to Nelson Irrigation. We’ll help you design a custom solution that will meet all your irrigation needs.