Fertility and natural weather patterns have typically been enough for crop production with just rain. For many years, a mechanized irrigation system could not be economically justified. For example, 94 percent of America’s four major commodity crops include corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton grown on farmland that relies on rain for moisture. Reuters reports 61 percent of the land in the western half of the country, states that include Nebraska, California and Kansas, rely on mechanized irrigation systems. Farmers in wheat states embrace this dynamic as irrigated land has increased yield faster than non-irrigated land. Irrigation farmers have become astute at upgrading aging equipment; irrigation manufacturers report a sizeable share of equipment is being sold to farmers who have never used irrigation. Fastcast: Thunder.