A recent study shows the U.S. irrigation equipment and service industry “waters” economic growth. A study of the economic impact of the irrigation equipment and service industry estimated direct expenditures on irrigation equipment was $8.92 billion in 2020, creating a total economic impact of $23.3 billion and contributing 167,000 jobs to the nation’s economy (Figure 2). The study was performed for the Irrigation Association and Irrigation Innovation Consortium and examined irrigation equipment and services provided to agriculture, landscaping, and horticulture. The study found expenditures on crop irrigation ($2.4 billion) was roughly the same as that spent on landscape irrigation ($2.3 billion). However, installation costs in the landscape sector adds another $3.9 billion in expenditures.
The study did not drill into the impacts of irrigation spending in individual states. Nebraska is home to the four largest center pivot manufacturers in the country with Lindsay, Reinke, T&L, and Valmont all located here. Nebraska is also the nation’s top state for irrigated acres. As such, the industry’s economic splash soaks Nebraska’s economy.
Figure 2. Economic Output of Irrigation Spending