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Conserving water in arid regions: Exploring the economic feasibility of alternative crops


  • Bishop, Carol D.
  • Curtis, Kynda R.
  • Kim, Man-Keun


Urban expansion in western arid regions has increased competition for available water supplies, encouraging more efficient agricultural water use. The implementation of alternative low water-use crops is one option for producers, but is it economically feasible? This study uses the EPIC model to model yields to alternative crop production under differing irrigation levels. Risk analysis, or the distribution of returns, to alternative crop production is examined through the use of SIMETAR. Data on current and alternative crops for this study include cost and return studies, producer interviews, and field trials in Northwest Nevada. Study results show that there are alternative crops that could be feasibly substituted for alfalfa or used as a diversification strategy, while reducing water use by at least one-half.

Suggested Citation

  • Bishop, Carol D. & Curtis, Kynda R. & Kim, Man-Keun, 2010. "Conserving water in arid regions: Exploring the economic feasibility of alternative crops," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(8), pages 535-542, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:103:y:2010:i:8:p:535-542

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Brian Hardaker & James W. Richardson & Gudbrand Lien & Keith D. Schumann, 2004. "Stochastic efficiency analysis with risk aversion bounds: a simplified approach," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(2), pages 253-270, June.
    2. Richardson, James W. & Klose, Steven L. & Gray, Allan W., 2000. "An Applied Procedure For Estimating And Simulating Multivariate Empirical (Mve) Probability Distributions In Farm-Level Risk Assessment And Policy Analysis," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(02), August.
    3. Uwe Schneider & Bruce McCarl, 2003. "Economic Potential of Biomass Based Fuels for Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(4), pages 291-312, April.
    4. Duffy, Michael & Nanhou, Virginie, 2002. "Costs of Producing Switchgrass for Biomass in Southern Iowa," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10346, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lyman, Nathaniel & Nalley, Lawton Lanier, 2013. "Stochastic Valuation of Hybrid Rice Technology in Arkansas," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142505, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Kim, Man-Keun & Curtis, Kynda R. & Yeager, Irvin, 2014. "An Assessment of Market Strategies for Small-Scale Produce Growers," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 17(3).


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