Crop Cost Impacts

A Tip – Crop Cost Impacts to Surveying & Geotechnical Work

One not-so-obvious item to include on the list of factors affecting the cost of surveying and geotechnical investigations is crop impacts. Natural gas pipelines may run across or near agricultural areas. It’s best to avoid doing this work during growing seasons whenever possible. When not possible, prepare for additional costs that may include reduced production efficiency, payment for crop damage (both current and future) and possible remobilization costs. The presence of tall crops may also prevent the use of cost-saving technology like LIDAR.

On a recent project, the original schedule envisioned an early summer start but was delayed, resulting in the need to perform surveying and geotechnical work during late summer. Corn in southern Illinois is currently about 8 feet tall. Accessing some of the geotechnical borings requires tracking the drill rig through these corn fields. If pushing out the entire schedule is not an option, choices are to pay owners for any crop damage that occurs or to pay the driller to remobilize to the locations in the corn fields after the harvest. In either event, the operative word is “pay.”

Among the services Dawood Engineering provides to the Energy, Transportation and Municipal markets is surveying, geotechnical investigations and the GIS services required to support these activities. “Crops” is on our checklist. Make sure it’s on yours, too!

-Cindy Khalaf, PE – Director of Energy Services