Return on investment in irrigation practices in response to the rate of adoption on an agricultural landscape

Concerns about groundwater depletion from conventional agricultural irrigation in the Mississippi Delta have led to the technological innovation of more-efficient irrigation practices. With Arkansas being the largest producer of rice and the tenth largest producer of soybeans in the United States, the irrigation demand of these crops has put pressure on producers to find ways to irrigate more efficiently. Research into water conserving irrigation techniques has helped preserve water resources, maintain yields, and maximize farm profits. As groundwater levels in the Delta continue to decrease, the price of pumping water increases, making the prospect of investment in new technologies more attractive. The paper will address potential returns on investment in efficient irrigation practices for furrow irrigated soybeans and flood irrigated rice. The depletion of the aquifer and the return on investment from efficient irrigation practices depends on the well-pumping decision of farms across the landscape. More farms adopting the efficiency-enhancing practices will increase the return on investment in those practices because these methods stabilize groundwater levels across the landscape. We explore how the rate of adoption of efficient irrigation practices on the landscape ultimately influence the return on investment.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
Q15; Q24; Q25

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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