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Title:Economic analysis of water use in Illinois agriculture
Author(s):Swanson, Earl R.
Subject(s):Water resource development
Water resource development--Illinois
Economic analysis
Farm management
Linear programming
Dynamic programming
Crop response
Cost analysis
Regression analysis
Soil moisture
Geographic Coverage:Illinois (state)
Abstract:Approximately 28,000 acres of field and specialty crops were irrigated in Illinois in 1966. Supplemental irrigation of corn accounted for over one half of this acreage. Important elements in the decision to invest in irrigation equipment for corn include the expected effect of irrigation on year-to-year fluctuations in income and on average income. Regression models were used to estimate the influence of moisture variables on corn yield. Moisture deficits were calculated using the season with the highest yield as a base. Although these models indicated a reduction in income variance as a result of removing moisture deficits by irrigation, they did not uniformly indicate an increase in average net income under irrigation. One of the regression models was then used as a basis for a dynamic programming analysis. A moderate gain in expected income from corn was obtained by employing the irrigation policy dictated by dynamic programming rather than the policy from a moisture-deficit model. The dynamic programming results were also superior to a commonly used rule of thumb for supplemental irrigation. In addition to the economic analysis of the irrigation of corn viewed as a single crop, it was necessary to examine its role in the context of the total farm business. The competitive position of ' corn in the rotation was evaluated and it was found that corn remained as an important crop after introduction of irrigation and consideration of the crop alternatives of snapbeans and cucumbers. Labor distribution was an important factor in determining an optimal cropping pattern. General rules were developed for adjusting leases on rented farms to provide economic incentives for both landlord and tenant to adopt supplemental irrigation. The results of all of the analyses would have been substantially improved with crop-response data from experiments in which the range of variation of water and complementary cultural practices included economically optimal levels of these inputs.
Issue Date:1971
Publisher:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Water Resources Center
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Sponsor:U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of the Interior
Rights Information:Copyright 1971 held by Earl R. Swanson
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-18

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