Irrigation Leads to Greater Market Value
According to a report supplied by the PR Newswire, growers are more productive than ever, but farms that irrigate are leading the way with a 10 percent increase in the market value of their production, according to Farm Census data.
The Census shows the number of acres of irrigated farmland delined 1.7 percent since the last census in 1997 but the market value of products from farms that irrigate rose 10 percent to $82 billion in 2002.
Former Irrigation Association President Adan Skolnik said the numbers reflect a move toward more efficient irrigation systems, which produce higher yields with less water, fertilizers and pesticides.
He said the agriculture community is stepping up to to adopt more efficient systems. He said farmers are moving away from flood-irrigation systems to more efficient pressurized systems.
"We have to be more efficient with everything that we do, just to survive. The farming community is applying lean processes. Irrigation is one component," he said.
The census shows the market value of products from farms that were not irrigated declined about 6 percent from 1997 to 2002 on 3 percent less land. Overall farm acreage declined 1.7 percent.
The total market value of farm products in the United States declined by .3 percent to about $2.006 billion while the number of acres decreased nearly 4 percent.