Center Pivot Handbook a Comprehensive Guide for Growers

Center pivot irrigation
The Center Pivot Irrigation Handbook,published by Nebraska Extension, offers detailed information to growers improve the energy and water application efficiencies of their irrigation systems.

Center Pivot Handbook a Comprehensive Guide for Growers

Center Pivot Irrigation Handbook
Page from the Nebraska Extension Center Pivot Handbook showing operating pressurs leading to proper and improper droplet distribution
A page from the chapter, Sprinkler Packages, in the Center Pivot Irrigation Handbook.

Is your center pivot irrigation system performing as efficiently as it should be? Are you getting optimal crop yield for the amount of water applied? What steps can you take to assess your system and improve performance?

Irrigation is one of the largest users of water and energy in the state, emphasizing the importance of having your system designed and operating at top efficiencies. Center pivot irrigation now accounts for approximately 85% of the irrigated land in Nebraska and is the most rapidly expanding form of irrigation in the US.

To help growers, consultants, and pivot industry personnel manage and get the most from their system, Nebraska Extension has published the Center Pivot Irrigation Handbook, a 134-page comprehensive guide.

The handbook covers topics related to center pivot system design, including wells, pumps, and pipelines, optimizing water and energy use efficiency, and managing and operating the equipment. It can help operators determine if an irrigation system is using only the amount of energy it should and, if not, how to tune up the current system or design a better one. Readers can learn why selecting the proper sprinkler package is vital to the efficiency of an irrigation system and how to design a system that applies water uniformly while reducing runoff, evaporation, and drift.

Written by Extension specialists and educators, it is in an easy-to-read format for general farm and layman readers. Color photos, graphs, and charts on almost every page illustrate the text and more than 25 tables create a handy reference for irrigation management.

Chapters cover:

  • pivot performance,
  • soil water management,
  • sprinkler packages,
  • pumping plants,
  • pipeline systems,
  • energy use in irrigation,
  • crop water use,
  • water resource management,
  • limited irrigation, and
  • center pivot management.

Get your Center Pivot Irrigation Handbook

The handbook is available in print for $12.50 and as a free downloadable file. To order the print version go to

To download a PDF of the handbook, go to

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