While Deseret is foremost a cattle ranch, we also have a long history in other types of agricultural production, including crops. Deseret now has approximately 1100 acres of productive farm ground under center pivot irrigation. Florida’s warm climate creates unique growing windows that allow for production and harvest of certain crops, like potatoes and corn, when most other regions of the country are just beginning to plant.
Indeed, Deseret has leased out the pivot irrigation areas for the production of chipping potatoes and more recently corn. The pivot areas have also successfully grown several other rotation crops, including cucumbers, wheat, soybeans, black beans, sorghum, and cauliflower. This irrigated acreage provides another source of revenue and diversifies the commodities produced on the Ranch, and we are planning to expand this acreage in the future.
Deseret has 1100 acres of productive farm ground under irrigation, growing field corn for a local dairy and sweet corn for grocery store produce aisles.
Consistent with our decades-long emphasis on protection of groundwater resources, most of the irrigation water is sourced from a canal linked to the Taylor Creek Reservoir, a major surface water supply. Pivot irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method for such crops, and soil moisture sensors in the field further ensure that only the minimum amount of water needed for the crop is applied. Subsurface tile drains capture any storm water and that storm water is routed back to the canal, creating a virtually closed-loop irrigation system that is a model for efficiency and protection of water quality.