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Rahmlow, H. J. (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. XXX (September 1939/July-August 1940)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 30, no. 9: May, 1940,   pp. [241]-272

Page 249

Small Irrigation System 
      Operates On One-Third 
           Gallon of Fuel Per Hour 
T HE portable rotary sprinkler 
   irrigation system which many 
Wisconsin farmers saw in op- 
eration on Farm Folks' Field Day 
at Madison last June 3 use(d only 
2 gallons of low-grade gasoline 
on a 6-hour run that day, report 
H. D. Bruhn and F. W. Duffee. 
  From this trial it appears that 
the fuel cost of applying an inch 
of "rain" to an acre of land is 
about 40 cents, assuming that 
low-grade gasoline can be pur- 
chased free of state tax at a tank 
wagon price of 12 cents a gallon. 
The small 10-sprinkler system 
irrigates one-fifth acre at a time, 
applying half an inch of water 
on this area every hour with a 
fuel consumption of one-third 
gallon; therefore the fuel needed 
to place an inch of water on an 
acre of land is about 3Y2 gallons. 
  The purchase price of this sys- 
tem, capable of keeping 10 acres 
irrigated, is about $300. How 
much the investment cost will be 
on the basis of each acre-inch of 
water applied naturally depends 
on how much the system is used. 
  Assuming the system  applies 
8 inches of water to 10 acres of 
land each season, or a total of 80 
acre-inches, that the useful life 
of the system is 15 years, and 
that a 5% repair allowance is 
about right, then the investment 
cost of applying an acre-inch of 
water is around 45 cents. 
  The "price" of an acre-inch of 
artificial rain-considering both 
fuel and investment costs but 
omitting labor-is therefore in 
the neighborhood of 85 cents. 
The labor involved in starting 
and moving the system requires 
the attention of one man about 
2 hours for every acre-inch of 
wvater applied. 
  From  Bulletin 446  "What's 
New in Farm Science," Wiscon- 
sin College of Agriculture. 
  Editor's note: We understand 
that the irrigation system de- 
scribed above was listed in last 
ear's catalog of Sears, Roebuck 
and Company, Chicago. A bulle- 
tio describing the system may be 
obtained by writing the Wiscon- 
sin College of Agriculture, Madi- 
Sol], Wis. 
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