"In the Middle West – in Nebraska and regions similar to that – our rainfall is not always adequate, and oftentimes our soils are light and don't hold a lot of moisture in the soil. So they need supplemental water during the growing season, and irrigation accomplishes that. And in fields that would have an average of 30 or 40 or 50 bushels per acre of corn per year, you put on a center pivot, increase the plant population, increase the fertility, put fertilizer on, why it's not at all unusual for a farmer in that part of the area to get a yield of 150 or more bushels per acre. And so that's really the incentive. Plus the fact that center pivot has the unusual characteristic of being able to irrigate fields that are not level. And heretofore irrigation was generally done on fields that were relatively flat or level. The water would be run down between each row. And in center pivot that is not needed anymore. And so, that opened up many, many acres in the world, literally, that would be available for irrigation. And today that is the way it's done. And it's been a boon to being able to feed millions of people an adequate diet that heretofore had not been possible."

Robert Daugherty – Impact of Pivots


Other Excerpts from Robert Daugherty’s Interview:

Omaha Stockyards
Early Days of Valmont
Pivots Go Worldwide
Installing First Systems
Making Pivot Systems Work
Pivots Cover Squares
Valmont's Patent Expires