Document Type


Publication Date

January 1954


Summary and Conclusions: Sprinkler irrigation will continue to expand in Utah as well as in other irrigated areas of the world. This method of irrigation is suitable to all farm crops grown in the state and to most soils. It is particularly adapted to steep foothill areas where the water supply can be obtained at higher elevation and pumping is not necessary to develop pressure for the sprinkler systems. Also, much of the irrigated land of the state, particularly along the Wasatch front, is owned and operated by "part-time" farmers. Having the water under complete control and the irrigation schedule worked out to fit their needs can be of great value. However, canal companies must change existing water delivery schedules to make sprinkler irrigation workable. This method of irrigation is most satisfactory with small more nearly continuous flows of water during the peak use period instead of large intermittent deliveries. Maximum benefit from a sprinkler irrigation system cannot be realized unless it is properly designed and operated. Development of a successfully designed system and its operation require a knowledge and understanding of the complex plant, soil, and water relations. These factors must be considered and the system then designed to meet the farmer's desires and work schedule. It should be the responsibility of the sprinkler system designer not only to install the equipment properly, but to train the farmer in its correct use. The following conclusions can be drawn from the sprinkler irrigation studies conducted in northern Utah during 1953 and 1954. 1. Suitable sprinkler systems for northern Utah lands will probabily cost from $75 to $85 per care, based on 1954 prices. 2. More than 40 percent of the sprinkler systems studied are inadequately designed to meet peak water use requirements. Of the others, about 15 percent have not been meeting these demands because of improper operation. 3. Farmers generally are not applying sufficient water each irrigation for optimum crop growth or minimum water application cost. 4. The sprinkler system must be capable of delivering a water suppply of about 10 gallons per minute per acre flow during the hottest part of the summer for the crops and conditions found in northern Utah. One major reason for this large flow requirement is that field shapes are irregular. 5. Total labor requirements will be a minimum of one man-hour per acre per irrigation. 6. Water-cooled gasoline power units are using an average of 0.15 gallon of fuel per brake horsepower required each hour. Properly applied power units in good condition will operate more efficiently. Diesel power units are consuming an average of 0.08 gallon of fuel per brake horsepower each hour. This study clearly demonstrated taht each farm presents a wide variety of problems which must be solved in various ways. The simple fact that every farm and farmer is different precludes the possibility of being able to go into a deparment store and purchase a "package sprinkler unit" that will meet the farmer's needs.