IA FARM MANAGER: I can give you costs to 4 decimal points, but I have already done this many times. You said there was no irrigation within 350mi of you, and that simply isn't true. You're supposed to be an expert with numbers and ratios. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that with 179, it pays for itself in one year. You can give it to the IRS or invest it in your operation.
Well, I know that there is not an irrigation system that you can see from Interstate 35 from the MN Border to the MO Border. And the same for Interstate 80 from the NE Border to the ILL Border. Our problem in Iowa is always, and I mean 99.99% of the time, is way too much rain. Many, many, times we are praying for the God Damn Rain to stop. We lose 1,000 times more corn yield from way to much rain, than not enough. Obviously, 2012 was different, but you look back in weather history, Iowa seems to have 1 drought every 25 years or so. So it would be a very, very, stupid thing to waste money on irrigation systems in Iowa. I bet I have put in well over $300,000 dollars worth of drainage tile on my 2,000 acres since 1986. In Iowa, some years, as mentioned we pray for the rain to stop since we can lose so much corn yield due to excessive rain. And I do not mean flooding, just the fact that the soil stays to wet for to long and our corn turns that very nice yellow color that means at least a 30-40% yield loss if it continues to rain. This is why drain tiles in Iowa can have a payback time in as little as 3 years. Our money from a purely economic basis is 100,000 times better spent on draining the excess rain off our corn fields. The last thing in the world we need in Iowa is an irrigation system putting even more water on our corn fields, when 23 years out of 24 years, we fight the Damn water to get it off our corn fields. I have been fighting all this excess rain in Iowa since 1986, and designing tiling systems to drain water off my corn fields. I have some excellent tiling systems I have put in that can drain 5+ inches of rain off my corn fields in 3 days. It almost like watching a toilet flush. Anyway, if you put a pivot irrigation system in my part of Iowa, they would consider you ready for the Loony Bin.
Is it possible that in Iowa, in 23 out of 24 years is enough moisture in the soil during the tillering corn when it is most needed ?
Yes, as I have told 48, in the last 24 years we have fought having too much rain on our corn fields for 23 of those years, and 1 year (2012) that we had a drought. Although we have just excellent heavy soils in Iowa for growing corn, if they are not drained properly they are worthless. Drainage of all the excess rain we get in Iowa is the A#1 problem in Iowa that screws up our yields.
If you go north or south on I29 you will see lots of pivots. Also a couple along I 80. Of course according to most of Iowa we are not a part of Iowa! Most of the part of Iowa that need irrigation is rough enough that it is difficult to do. We can raise a fair crop here but more moisture the last few years has helped a lot! It wasn't too many years ago that wheat, oats and Milo were common around here!
IA FARM MANAGER: Just west of you they irrigate out of the river. I think steffy said he has 20 sprinklers. The irrigation doesn't cost you anything cuz you can 179 and depreciate it. With shale gas, NG is less than $4. Irrigation opens up production enhancing capabilities: incorporating chemicals, crust busters, supplying water during pollination & grain fill, etc. With 98 mil acres and $4 corn ahead, you may want to sharpen your pencil.
I am still waiting to find out how you can purchase a irrigation system and it won't cost you anything. My wife is a CPA and we would both like to know how you can pull this off?
Are you trying to say you can 179 it AND then depreciate on a schedule too?