Presented at the Irrigation Conference, Columbia, MO. February 2003
University of Missouri Outreach and Extension and Commercial Agriculture Program
Ray Massey and Mary Sobba

This is the 25 th year the University of Missouri has collected data from Missouri farmers on irrigation performance. The data presented here are the average values for 31 irrigation systems that responded to our December 2002 survey. Individual farms may report more than 1 system. Irrigation systems located in the southeast region of Missouri are not included in this report.

The number of surveys returned was about the same as last year. All of the respondents indicated that they used their irrigation system this year. Survey respondents included 25 irrigation systems irrigating corn and 27 systems irrigating single-crop soybeans in Missouri in 2002.

Respondents reported that corn yields from land irrigated with an average of 6.3 inches of water exceeded dryland corn yields by 54 bushels. Irrigated single-crop soybean yields exceeded dryland yields by 11.9 bushels, with 4.6 inches of water being applied.

Sixty six percent of the systems were fixed center pivots; 21% were towable center pivots and 13% were traveling gun. Pumping power was predominately diesel (65% of the systems), followed by 35% of the systems using electricity. Ninety percent of the respondents reported that their irrigation water supply was adequate. One hundred percent of those that used reservoirs reported that their reservoirs were full in June.

Page 4 of this report contains crop budgets using this survey data, average Missouri production costs and 2002 harvest time prices. Other government payments are not included. This year the net return to land and management for corn was 25.87/acre; single crop soybeans resulted in $77.27/acre. Returns to land and management were profitable for both corn and soybeans in 2002. The income change due to irrigation was positive $36.04 for corn but negative $7.69 for soybeans (see bottom table of page 4).

2002 Irrigation Survey Crop Details

Single-crop Soybeans
Number reporting2527
Average acres irrigated122134
Irrigated yield/acre (bushels)15255.5
Dryland yield/acre (bushels)9843.6
Increase (bushels/acre)5411.9
Times irrigated6.34.7
Total inches applied6.34.6

Missouri 2002 Irrigation Survey (excluding Bootheel)

Types of Systems
    Center Pivot fixed66%
    Center Pivot towable21%
    Traveling gun13%
Types of Water Supplies
    Combination, reservoir/stream/well3%
Types of Pumping Power
2002 Average Fuel Cost per Acre Inch:
    Electricity (10 systems)$2.54
    Diesel (19 systems)$2.52
    Average (29 systems)$2.52
2002 Repair Costs:
    Average per farm (28 farms)$1,023
    Average per acre (125 acres/farm)$8.25
Water Supply Adequate?90% yes
Reservoir full in June?100% yes
1992-2002 Survey Corn Yields, 10-year average:
    Irrigated151.6 bushels/acre
    Dryland115.9 bushels/acre
    Difference35.7 bushels/acre
2002 Average Corn Planting Rate:
    Irrigated29120 stalks/acre
    Dryland26229 stalks/acre
1993-2002 Survey Soybean Yields, 10-year average:
    Irrigated50.1 bushels/acre
    Dryland40.6 bushels/acre
    Difference9.5 bushels/acre

2002 Irrigated Crop Budgets (per acre)
    Yield/acre (bushels)15255.50
    Gross income/acre$364.80$299.70
Operating Costs: 
    Fertilizer and lime75.0029.00
    Machinery fuel, repair etc.80.0059.00
    Labor and Miscellaneous29.0029.00
    Drying @10/bushel15.200.00
    Irrigation fuel ($2.54/acre inch)15.8811.59
    Irrigation repairs10.9810.98
    Irrigation Equipment40.0040.00
    Interest (9% x operating costs)$12.87$7.86
Total Non-Land Costs/Acre$338.93$222.43
Return to Land and Management/Acre$25.87$77.27

2002 Income Change Due to Irrigation (per acre)
Added Income 
    Yield/acre (bushels)54.011.90
    Gross income/acre$129.6064.26
Operating Costs: 
    Fertilizer and lime10.003.00
    Drying @10/bushel5.40 -
    Irrigation fuel ($2.54/acre inch)15.8811.59
    Irrigation repairs10.9810.98
    Interest (9% x operating costs)$2.31$1.38
      Added operating costs/acre$53.56$31.95
Added Income over Added Costs$76.04$32.31
Ownership Costs: 
    Irrigation Equipment$40.0040.00
Added Return to Land and Management/Acre$36.04($7.69)