1. Visual Assessment
- Site/Property/Physical Boundaries
- Site Boundaries: A site boundary determines the total area within the property boundaries, and if it has not been previously documented properly can be difficult to determine without a deed description. When a boundary has been determined, a mutual agreement between property owners needs to be established before the boundaries are marked.
- Irrigation System: Gives an overview of the basic parts of an irrigation system (intake structure & pumping station, Conveyance & Distribution System, Field Application Systems, and Drainage Systems) and where they should be installed in the field based on terrain.
- Property Boundaries: The agricultural use of a property focuses on the economic development of the owner and the area around the property. Understanding the importance of single or multiple landowners of a property can mitigate property disputes on economic profits or losses.
- Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping: Fundamentals of Land Ownership, Land Boundaries, and Surveying (Link broken - http://www.icsm.gov.au/cadastral/Fundamentals_of_Land_Ownership_Land_Boundaries_and_Surveying.pdf)
- Field Size: Very poor farmers may only have less than 5 hectares, whereas others could have up to 500 or more. Yield is a big problem right now, with hunger causing many problems.
- Irrigation technology:The following links provide irrigation coverage and irrigation technologies.
- Water Source
- Well/Canal/River: The obvious signs of water nearby for use include nearby canals and rivers, but if none are present, are there wells in the area and how much water are the wells providing?
2. Soil Sampling
- Soil Sampling and Survey: Soil samples should be collected before each growing season to determine the nutrient status of the field. A couple different methods can be used to collect and test soil samples. Global data can also be used.
- Soil Type: Soil is the term to describe the matter that makes up the minerals, organic matter, and other materials that cover much of the earth’s surface. Without soil, organic life would not be able to grow, and different soil types allow for different plants to thrive or fail.
- Soil Impact: Soil dynamics vary from place to place depending on what forms the soil like climate, topography, organism, parent rocks below, and time. Each one of these factors determine how nutritious soil in certain areas are for plant growth.
3. Hydrogeological Survey
- Locating Groundwater
- How to Locate Groundwater: The USGS give a rundown as to how hydrologists locate groundwater.
- Review of the regions groundwater
- Hydrologic Reports: This article by the USGS is a set of guidelines to show how to properly write up a hydrologic report. Link –
- Plants as Indicators: This report by the USGS analyzes how the presence of certain plants in an area can be indicators of groundwater in an area. Link –
- Surface Water Resources
- Water Sampling: Soil water serves as the reservoir that stores the water and nutrients for a plant to use later to survive and grow. Tests can be conducted to determine whether the water in areas is preferable for plant growth or not.
4. Pivot Layout
- Pivot and Pump Installation
- Factors to Consider: Some things to consider when installing an irrigation system include the crop type to be planted, the size and shape of the field, the water sources available, cost of fuel/power and availability, requirements for labor and the cost of the system.
- Overview of Center Pivot System: This report gives an introduction and overview of center pivot irrigation systems through the understanding of the components and interconnections of the system. Link –
- Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance: Agriculture Irrigation Initiative Overview of Center Pivot Irrigation System (Link broken - https://neea.org/docs/default-source/reports/overview-of-center-pivot-irrigation-systems.pdf?sfvrsn=4)
- Well Drilling and Pumps
- Good Irrigation Wells: Without proper engineering design, construction and development, some irrigation wells are improperly designed use twice as much energy or fuel and cost land owners much more than they should. This article walks through the components to obtain a good irrigation well. UNL: How to get a Good Irrigation Well
- Drilling a Well: This article outlines what a landowner should know about drilling wells before getting started, including understanding how groundwater systems work, evaluating the potential for a well, and choosing whether to drill a well or connect to a public water supply.
- Pivot Design
- Design Fundamentals: Pivot designs need to provide water at rates, in quantities and at certain times to meet irrigation requirements for farmland. This article gives an overview of the design fundamentals of irrigation systems.
5. Power Assessment
- Energy Use Evaluation: The cost to irrigate a field is determined by the amount of water being pumped and the cost to apply a unit of water. Scheduling, application efficiency, pumping plant efficiency, and pumping pressure will all affect how much energy will be needed for the irrigation system.
- Power Requirements: This article gives an overview of how a center pivot system works in order to understand how power requirements can change from location to location.
6. Soil/Water Verification
- Best Management Practices: This in-depth overview of best management practices analyzes the combinations of site-specific management, educational, and physical practices that have proven to be both effective and economical for water conservation and brush control.
- Land and Water Management: Sustainable water management is achievable by education of water management, improving soil fertility and crop nutrition and controlling soil erosion.
7. Feasibility Study
- Sustainable Agricultural Resource Development
- Cambodia Project: This feasibility report analyzes the uplands irrigation and water resources management sector project conducted in Cambodia. The project included over 9,000 hectares of irrigated farmland
- Irrigation Importance: A feasibility case-study conducted by EnviroPlus Consulting Inc, shows the feasibility of potential water solutions for irrigation water, and how to facilitate the implementation of a pilot irrigation project on the Milton Estate in Dominica.
- Guidelines for Feasibility Reports: Agricultural feasibility reports help to determine water requirements for irrigation projects and to determine if the water source and surrounding soil is suitable for irrigation and crop growth.
- Environment and Sustainable Resource Development: Guidelines for Preparing Agricultural Feasibility Reports For Irrigation Projects (Link broken - http://aep.alberta.ca/water/education-guidelines/documents/AgriculturalFeasibilityReports-Guideline.pdf)
8. Marketing Plan
- Here’s a list of resources pulled from the Valmont marketing department that discuss some “best practice” techniques such as pivot irrigation in different regions, selecting irrigation sprinkler heads, Sustainability etc. Told in story format.
9. Business Plan
- Irrigation for Fruit and Vegetable Production: Discusses the importance of irrigation to successful growth of crops during the most vital periods for maximum potential.
- Center Pivots May Be New Wave of the Future in Tomato Irrigation Transition of California tomato farmers to pivot systems to improve plant growth.
- First Steps Business Plan: This article breaks down the important first steps to establishing a business plan for a farm, including a vision, mission, objectives, goals, strategy, tactics, and the resource base to get started.
- South Africa Business Plan Guidelines: This document provides a comprehensive plan for a draftable business plan by showing the steps to identify a problem, and the solutions backed with sources for a successful business plan.
- Business and Cooperative: Estimating annual irrigation costs is part of analyzing the business plan as a whole with the costs that need to be taken into consideration listed.
- Economic Justification and Profit Projections
- Importance of Irrigation Systems to Production: To assist producers with the decision on whether or not to pursue pivot irrigation, this article breaks down the differences between the different types of irrigation systems commonly used in Texas.
- Demand for Irrigation in Africa: This article gives an overview of water development in Africa and its importance to irrigated crop production within the African economy.
- Pivot Irrigation Breakdown: This article gives a comprehensive breakdown of pivot design, pipe sizing, wheel and drive options, system capacity, required accessories, and pivot management. Link – Texas Agricultural Extension Service
- Economic Analysis of Profitability of Center Pivot Irrigation in Nebraska: This analysis provides a comprehensive list of pivot, crop, fertilizer, and estimated income of irrigated land for landowner and rented ground.
- Crop Planning
- Creating a Nutrient Management Plan: This step-by-step process shows how to balance nutrients that are provided by farmland by further breaking it down on how to successfully device the plan into a 3-step process.
- Soil Texture and Impact on Growth: This article provides suggestions to irrigation managers with variable soil types (deep silt, deep sand, shallow silt, shallow sand) and their ability to hold water.
- Irrigation Scheduling
- Using an Atmometer: This Nebraska guide shows what an atmometer device is, how it works, and how it can be used to calculate an irrigation schedule for corn and soybeans.
- Irrigation Scheduling Breakdown: This article separates the different methods and formulas of irrigation scheduling as well as providing a comprehensive list of elements to consider when setting up an irrigation schedule such as Management and Site variables.
- Irrigation and Water Management: This article provides information and examples of irrigation scheduling, water usage, crop residue management and conservation tillage, and how to audit irrigation systems.
- Examples of Contracts Between Stakeholders
- Socio Economic and Gender Analysis Program: Overview of the importance of participation by all stakeholders when implementing and overseeing irrigation. Emphasizes the Importance of the different priorities that is held by male and female stakeholders as well as the patterns among social, economic, and environmental conditions.
- Exploring Public-Private Partnership in the Irrigation and Drainage Sector in India: An evaluation conducted in India regarding the implementation of large-scale irrigation practice and the transparency management practice of departments, stakeholders, and collaborative private sector investments.
- Standards and Formulas
- System Pumping Requirements: In order to meet the demands of a field, a calculation of the system capacity needs to be conducted first.
- Pivot Calculations: This is a list of calculation generators for pivot users regarding water usage, irrigation time, and amount of acreage, rotation time, and flow rate.
10. Go/No Go Decision
- Based on the implications provided in the previous steps, and if the land, shareholders, and equipment needed, is accessible. You are able to move onto the implementation stage.