Nebraska is a groundwater-rich state. Nebraska has one primary aquifer, the High Plains Aquifer, and seven secondary aquifers. These secondary aquifers supply water to more than 4000 active wells spread across 30 counties.
The 2017 growing season started with warm dry planting conditions, followed by significant rain delays in May in many parts of the state, and a summer of intermittent weeks of hot and cool temperatures. The net result is that crops may mature over a longer period than usual this fall. Fortunately, the following procedure for making end-of-season irrigation decisions is based on crop maturity stage rather than the calendar.
Center pivot irrigation systems are designed and managed to apply water as uniformly as possible to enhance crop production. Uniformity has a direct effect on the system’s overall application efficiency, which is a measure of how well an irrigation system delivers water to a crop’s root zone.