It used to be that if a farmer had adequate underground water, he would drill a well, lay down some gated pipe and flood a field of crops without regard to the unintended consequences of aquifer reduction, chemical runoff or soil erosion.
Those days are pretty much gone, as science and technology have worked in concert to create more efficient production methods and systems approaches toward higher yields and, therefore, higher profits.
The Lawless family--Dad Lindley and sons David and Mark--are working to show that new methods of center pivot irrigation can meld with no-till production and advanced agronomic management.
David and Mark Lawless are fourth-generation producers from Sumner County, Kan., and farm about 2,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat. They began their farming careers in the early 1990s on their own with just 40 acres of no-till ground, trading work with neighbors for equipment.