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Old Comments:

2008-04-08 07:54:08
This is all watered from the Oglala aquifer, mainly from 'fossil' water -- water that has been trapped underground for millenia without being replenished. IIRC, this reservoir is expected to run dry in the next 25-40 years, with a resulting 'dust bowl' situation probable. The amount of food production in this area is a significant portion of the world's requirement.
2008-04-07 08:21:46
While it's possible to irrigate a square or rectangular field, farmers get better water distribution by mounting sprinklers on a wheeled gantry from a central pipe that waters in a circular area. This gets more water on to and into the plant roots than the old trench irrigation systems could, therefore, they can use a lot less water (around 30% less, I think) to get the same crop yield from a given field.
2008-04-07 07:35:03
I've never understood why they are circular... the technology to irrigate a full rectangular section has existed for decades, are the corner edges wasted or are they used for something else?
2008-04-07 05:28:49
Is that a ninja on the right?
2008-04-07 05:07:23
Heh. Upon further inspection, pretty much *all of Kansas* looks like this.
2008-04-07 04:51:25
This is one of the most interesting photos on this site . Would enjoy seeing more of this kind of stuff.
2008-04-07 03:49:03
Wow, quite a photo. Very thought provoking, especially if you're reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. Would love to know where this spot is and view it in Google Earth.