Inventory shows 13,013 center pivot systems in operation within 15-county High Plains Water District service area
Approximately 13,013 center pivot systems are currently operating within the 15-county High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 service area, according to a recent survey conducted by district staff with assistance from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.
This represents an additional 800 center pivots in operation since the previous Nov. 2005 inventory.
Center pivot totals by county are as follows: Lamb, 1,835; Hale, 1,823; Parmer, 1,792; Castro, 1,459; Hockley, 906; Deaf Smith, 896; Lubbock, 830; Bailey, 739; Floyd, 705; Cochran, 666; Crosby, 588; Lynn, 572; Randall, 125; Armstrong, 45; and Potter, 32.
All of Armstrong and Potter Counties were included in the inventory as they have less than 50 total pivots. Only the southwest portions of each county are within the High Plains Water District service area.
The center pivot inventory includes all types of water application methods, such as Low Energy Spray Application (LESA), Mid-Elevation Spray Application (MESA), Low Energy Precision Application (LEPA), and others.
"The 2008 USDA National Agriculture Imagery Program was used to identify the pivots," said Scott Orr, agricultural group supervisor. "The pivots that are identified indicate that an active pivot (evidence that it was used in 2008) was present at that location. However, the imagery does not identify how much of the pivot was actually used for irrigation or crop production in 2008."
Field observation indicates approximately 65 to 70 percent of these pivots are equipped with high-efficiency application packages.
Hale County had the largest increase in center pivots since the last inventory with 194 pivots added. Other increases by county during the three-year period include: Floyd, 168; Lamb, 100; Lubbock, 87; Castro, 85; Lynn, 76; Cochran, 51; Deaf Smith, 50; Crosby, 39; Parmer, 6; and Potter, 4.
Four counties showed decreases in center pivot irrigation. These include Bailey, -29; Hockley, -25; Armstrong, -3; and Randall, -3.
The 2008 survey shows 1,704,097 acres under center pivot irrigation within the water district. This is 95,540 acres more than the 1,608,557 acres reported during the 2005 survey.
Previous center pivot inventories were conducted by High Plains Water District and USDA-NRCS staff in 1986, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1998, and 2005.
Created in 1951 by area residents and the State Legislature, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 is charged with conserving, preserving, protecting, and preventing waste of groundwater in a 15-county service area.