The Northern High Plains (NHP) of Texas is home to more than a million acres of irrigated crop production. The area is dependent on the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation water that has a very minimal recharge rate which is leading to diminishing water availability making the adoption of more water efficient irrigation practices such as irrigation scheduling critical to sustaining irrigated agriculture. Corn is by far the largest user of irrigation water in the NHP. The objective of this study was to estimate the value of irrigation scheduling for corn in NHP using three-year data from the “200-12 demonstration” that had both demonstration plots (optimal irrigation scheduling followed) and side-by-side control plots (farmers’ practices followed). Production per acre-inch of irrigation from the demonstration and control plots were compared to estimate the value of irrigation scheduling. Analysis of the data indicated adding irrigation scheduling resulted in a 9.72% increase in corn yield per acre-inch applied, which resulted in a $91.22 per acre increase in net returns. Although results from individual farms varied considerably, the economic advantage of irrigation scheduling decreased over time suggesting that the producers were learning from the demonstration and implementing similar irrigation scheduling practices on their remaining land.


Downloads Statistics

Download Full History