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Economic value and water productivity of major irrigated crops in the Ogallala aquifer region

Author

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  • Araya, A.
  • Gowda, P.H.
  • Golden, B.
  • Foster, A.J.
  • Aguilar, J.
  • Currie, R.
  • Ciampitti, I.A.
  • Prasad, P.V.V.

Abstract

Crop water productivity and return after variable cost for three major crops (winter wheat, grain sorghum and maize) in the southwest Kansas were evaluated based on simulated yield using the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer - Cropping System Model (DSSAT-CSM). Winter wheat and grain sorghum were treated with four irrigation capacities (ICs) (zero, 1.7, 2.5 and 5 mm/day) and an automatic irrigation (irrigation when required). Maize was treated with three ICs (0, 2.5 and 5 mm/day) and an automatic irrigation. Long-term simulations showed that average winter wheat, grain sorghum and maize yields can be stabilized under 1.7–2.5, 2.5 and 5 mm/day ICs with corresponding irrigation of 100–150, 100–250 and 450–500 mm, respectively. The crop water productivities of winter wheat, grain sorghum and maize ranged from 9.8 to 11.8, 12.8–15.0 and 4.2–19.1 kg/ha/mm, respectively. Maize was found to be profitable when grown under both deficit and full irrigation conditions although optimal irrigation application for maize substantially increased the net return after variable cost (RAVC). The median net return after variable cost for rainfed wheat ($252/ha) and grain sorghum ($180/ha) was greater than that for irrigated wheat ($169–$192/ha) and grain sorghum ($104–$110/ha). The RAVC for wheat and grain sorghum did not rise with increase in irrigation and IC, whereas the RAVC for maize increased with irrigation and IC. The lowest and highest RAVC for maize corresponded to IC of 0 ($16/ha) and 5 mm/day ($530/ha). However, this income from growing maize under higher IC may not last long due to rapidly depleting groundwater levels in the underlying Ogallala aquifer. Therefore, the short-term benefits of growing maize under higher ICs need to be compared with the long-term environmental impact, food security and employment opportunities including sustaining the growing municipal and industrial water needs.

Suggested Citation

  • Araya, A. & Gowda, P.H. & Golden, B. & Foster, A.J. & Aguilar, J. & Currie, R. & Ciampitti, I.A. & Prasad, P.V.V., 2019. "Economic value and water productivity of major irrigated crops in the Ogallala aquifer region," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 214(C), pages 55-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:214:y:2019:i:c:p:55-63
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2018.11.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Himanshu, Sushil Kumar & Fan, Yubing & Ale, Srinivasulu & Bordovsky, James, 2021. "Simulated efficient growth-stage-based deficit irrigation strategies for maximizing cotton yield, crop water productivity and net returns," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 250(C).
    5. Fernández, J.E. & Alcon, F. & Diaz-Espejo, A. & Hernandez-Santana, V. & Cuevas, M.V., 2020. "Water use indicators and economic analysis for on-farm irrigation decision: A case study of a super high density olive tree orchard," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 237(C).
    6. Phetheet, Jirapat & Hill, Mary C. & Barron, Robert W. & Gray, Benjamin J. & Wu, Hongyu & Amanor-Boadu, Vincent & Heger, Wade & Kisekka, Isaya & Golden, Bill & Rossi, Matthew W., 2021. "Relating agriculture, energy, and water decisions to farm incomes and climate projections using two freeware programs, FEWCalc and DSSAT," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    7. Araya, A. & Gowda, P.H. & Rad, M. Rouhi & Ariyaratne, C.B. & Ciampitti, I.A. & Rice, C.W. & Prasad, P.V.V., 2021. "Evaluating optimal irrigation for potential yield and economic performance of major crops in southwestern Kansas," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 244(C).
    8. Dhungel, Ramesh & Aiken, Robert & Lin, Xiaomao & Kenyon, Shannon & Colaizzi, Paul D. & Luhman, Ray & Baumhardt, R. Louis & O’Brien, Dan & Kutikoff, Seth & Brauer, David K., 2020. "Restricted water allocations: Landscape-scale energy balance simulations and adjustments in agricultural water applications," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 227(C).
    9. Mitchell-McCallister, Donna & Williams, Ryan B. & Bordovsky, James & Mustian, Joseph & Ritchie, Glen & Lewis, Katie, 2020. "Maximizing profits via irrigation timing for capacity-constrained cotton production," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 229(C).
    10. Fan, Yubing & Himanshu, Sushil K. & Ale, Srinivasulu & DeLaune, Paul B. & Zhang, Tian & Park, Seong C. & Colaizzi, Paul D. & Evett, Steven R. & Baumhardt, R. Louis, 2022. "The synergy between water conservation and economic profitability of adopting alternative irrigation systems for cotton production in the Texas High Plains," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 262(C).
    11. Liu, Qi & Niu, Jun & Wood, Jeffrey D. & Kang, Shaozhong, 2022. "Spatial optimization of cropping pattern in the upper-middle reaches of the Heihe River basin, Northwest China," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 264(C).
    12. Zhou, Qing & Zhang, Yali & Wu, Feng, 2021. "Evaluation of the most proper management scale on water use efficiency and water productivity: A case study of the Heihe River Basin, China," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 246(C).

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