Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on April 16, 1973 · Page 52
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Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 52

Greeley, Colorado
Issue Date:
Monday, April 16, 1973
Page 52
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CENTER-PIVOT -- A sprinkler irrigation rig moves through its circular swing around a quarter-section of grass land. Greeley-based manufacturers of Perfect Circle and Raincat center-pivot systems say 3,500 such rigs were sold nationally by 10 firms last year, mostly in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. They estimate the center-pivot system market will continue to grow by 25 per cent a year. (Photo, Courtesy of Raincat Systems) City has major manufacturers of sprinkler irrigation systems There are about 10 major ; manufacturers of center-pivot ; sprinkler irrigation systems in the United States -- and two of · them are in Greeley. Located little more than a mile apart, they are two-year- old Irrigation and Power Equipment, Inc., on U.S. 85 just south of Greeley, maker of the Raincat system, and newcomer Irrigation Systems, Inc., on the U.S. 85 by-pass, which this spring begins production of the Perfect Circle system. Both Gordon Johnson, ^president of the Raincat firm, and Osmond Collier, head man at Perfect Circle, say they anticipate production and sales of about 100 each of their basic center-pivot systems this The basic unit Perfect Circle builds is 1,248 feet long; Raincat markets models from 1,044 to 1,556 feet. Both types are driven by electric motors and in one circular sweep can irrigate a quarter section in less than a day. These units cost about $18,000 to $20,000. "There's an extremely strong trend toward mechanical irrigation in Colorado," says Johnson, and Collier agrees, Both point out such systems can accomplish the same level of irrigation with up to 50 per cent less water than flood irrigation! One man can irrigate a quarter- section alone with a pivot system, and fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide can be applied with these systems. Johnson started his firm in 1955 as an irrigation supply Valley, Neb. continues among firm and four years later added the largest makers of sprinkler a farm implement line. In 1969, irrigation systems. Valley his firm began manufacturing systems were distributed in this parts for the Raincat system, area by the operation which which had been bought and was the forerunner of Collier's imported from Australia by a new Perfect Circle manufac- Los Angeles company. luring firm. By the fall of 1971, they had Johnson points to two bought out the rest of Raincat- developing results of center- including patents and p j v o t sprinkler irrigation: production machinery -- and roun( j crop areas and added moved the entire operation pressure toward larger cor- from Los Angeles to Greeley in 20 railroad cars. Johnson says he was taking over a well- established line. wes't, what Valley was to the Midwest." THE NEW LOOK FOR 1973 THANK YOU--69 years worth Yes since 1904 when my Father first started his retail store in Greeley some member of the MEYER family has been in retailing in Greeley and Weld County continuously--Many changes have taken place--except the same old fashioned good service-courtesy and honest values selling the nation's best NATIONAL BRANDS Shop the "NEW LOOK" Mikels today and see. Mike Meyer FOR MEN BOYS 814 8th St. porate farming operations. The historic Midwestern and Western layout of square or rectangular fields -- based on "In the early years," he says, the section svstem _ js giving Raincat was to the coast, way to round planting especially the Pacific North- O p era t ions due to the circular swing of center-pivot systems. More and more, unirrigated Valley Manufacturing of field corners are being used for buildings, storage or other non- planted purposes. And, he admits, the $20,000 or so for one quarter-section system is yet another cost pressure toward the dominance of large-scale corporate type farming. "But a lot of those still are single-family farms." he adds. Johnson says large-scale farming operations tend more to attract eastern investment. "Those operations are sound investments for venture capital." In the face of this, however, Johnson says center-pivot systems are meaning, big savings in labor and water for farm irrigation operations. With about 3.3 million acres under irrigation in Colorado, Johnson says, an estimated 12 per cent are irrigated by center-pivot systems and upwards of 18 per cent of this acreage is under some form of mechanical irrigation. But he admits some of the long-time irrigated land around Greeley may have limited possibilities for center-pivot systems due to the historic and specialized use of flood irrigation. However farther to the east, he adds, sprinkler irrigation is coming on fast. About 3,500 center-pivot systems were sold in the United States last year, Johnson says, about two-thirds of them in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Meanwhile, Collier -- with a $2.5 million initial investment in his new Perfect Circle plant -and a payroll of 25 persons -says he is optimistic about the future of center-pivot systems. Both he and Johnson estimate annual market growth at about 20 to 25 per cent. Perfect Circle will go with one basic 1,248-foot sprinkler rig model, Collier says, compared lo other firms which manufacture rigs of varying lenghths. About 20 Perfect Circle rigs were m a n u f a c t u r e d independently the past two summers in "de-bugging" development of the system. Collier has purchased the system from the Lundvall Brothers, although they will A-l« GREELEY (Colo.) TRIBUNE M««., April U, ItTl Wilraths opened Rubaiyat in shopping center last June NEW SYSTEM -- Osmond Collier describes the new Perfect Circle sprinkler irrigation rig his firm, Irrigation Systems, Inc., is beginning to manufacture this spring. Collier estimates production and sales of 100 basic 1,248-foot center- pivot systems this year. (Tribune Photo) continue to assist in marketing · the system. Collier estimates his first- year production and sales of 100 systems can be followed by double that in the company's second year. And he -- as is Johnson -- is looking toward foreign markets. Collier sees the center-pivot system fitting well into the new agri-business cycle of contracted crops and livestock feeding -- a system that will give added confidence to agricultural investors. And Collier, an executive with General Electric for 22 years, sees the system diver- f sifying into uses such as sprinkling and effluent aeration in municipal sewage treatment plants. He plans to begin leasing -as well as outright sales -- of Perfect Circle systems this . year. "This industry is still in its infancy," says Collier. "But it's growing, the future is there." Mr. and Mrs. Bill Wilrath have operated the Rubaiyat in' the Hillside Mall since June 1972. Actually, it is under the mall -- a basement establishment that opens at 11 a.m. each day with luncheon served until 2 p.m. Dinners are served from 6- 10p.m. There also is a cocktail bar. This restaurant features prime rib dinners, also steak and shrimp. The Rubaiyat is the name of Omar Khayyam's peom or ode with the famous quote "a glass of wine, a piece of bread and thou." Excerpts from this poem are framed and hung on the walls along with a Persian rug and Persian decor in the bar. There is a large fireplace banked by two storage "caves," all made of moss rock. One wall, formerly housing booths, is being redone into an area of iridescent motifs with black light playing on the muralsi Gracious urns are used in the decor, with red lamps alongside walnut tables. Several of the walls are done in wide walnut wood 'panels. A wall at the side of the bar features cartoons by Don Zeig. The Wilralhs are graduates of Greeley Central High School. They lived in Montana about 10 years prior to returning to Greeley. Eastern massage SINGAPORE -- Massage in a formal sense is thought to have originated in the East, perhaps as an adjunct to the bath. The oldest mention of it is in the Chinese "Kong-Fou," written about 2700 B.C. $16 billion gained - NEW YORK-Total assets of U.S. life insurance companies rose about $16 billion during 1972 to top $238 billion at the end of the year, the Institute of Life Insurance reports. Average double U.S. KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -Average annual residential use of TVA power in fiscal 1972 was 14,040 kilowatt-hours, compared with a national average of about 7,500 kwh. READY TO SHIP -- II. Gordon Johnson, president of Raincat systems, shows one of his quarter-section sprinkler irrigation rigs · · ·", '^··r- -""''· v 2'fi»v'S« -#^ ^-.vgSgjjti prepared for hauling to Colorado's Arkansas Valley. Raincat employs 30 at its Evans plant. (Tribune Photo) FOR THE FINEST IN FRIENDLY FAMILY DINING FUN. It has been a pleasure to serve the Greeley area since 1963 Drive in to the fast service, carry-out area, or relax in the climate controlled diningroom. KING'S FOOD HOST 1321 8th Ave. Greeley

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