Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics (June 5, 2013)


Published by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics. Copyright © [2013] Board of Regents, University of Nebraska.


In the past decade, Nebraska overtook California as the state with the highest number of irrigated acres in the country. Nebraska has more than 8.5 million acres of irrigated land, relying primarily on the groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer for its irrigation. The primary method of irrigation in the state is with center pivot systems — a technology which was invented and developed in Nebraska, with all the major center pivot manufacturing companies headquartered there. As of 2007, nearly 80 percent of the irrigated land in Nebraska used center pivot systems; and this percentage continues to grow as gravity irrigated land (which can be converted) is changed over to this technology.