Center Pivot Irrigation Near Utah Lake

March 20, 2012


Photographer: Patrick Wiggins
Summary Authors: Patrick Wiggins; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a tan-colored irrigation circle ready for spring planting on the western shore of Utah Lake in northern Utah. It was observed from the open window of a small aircraft flying approximately 1,000 m above the surface. The circle has a diameter of about 800 m. It's likely that it'll be planted with alfalfa for animal feed. Central pivot irrigation is often used to pipe water to thirsty crops in semiarid and arid regions. With this irrigation method, water is withdrawn from a single well in the center of a field and lengths of pipe mounted on a system of wheels sprinkles the crop with water as they rotate around the pivot. Because the piping slowly rotates about a pivot point, water is evenly distributed. Additionally, more water is available to nourish the plants and less is lost to evaporation since water drops directly onto the crop rather than being lofted into the air as with some other irrigation approaches. Pesticides can also be applied using these center pivot systems. Photo taken on December 27, 2011.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON D70; Lens: Sigma 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 DG Macro; Focal Length: 35mm (35mm equivalent: 52mm); Aperture: f/7.1; Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200); ISO equiv: 400; Software: Ver.1.03.