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Abstract

Marginal irrigated acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) through 1987 represent less than 2 percent of the 23 million acres enrolled nationwide. Marginal irrigated acreage is irrigated land that results in low net returns because of high energy costs (due to high pump lifts and/or low pump capacities) or low productivity. Most of the enrolled irrigated acreage is in 17 Western States, with 68 percent of it in Nebraska and Texas. This report identifies the extent of marginal irrigated acreage enrolled in the CRP through 1987 and the potential enrollment in the CRP under two rates of enrollment, the historical and half the historical rate. This report also examines why producers would enroll irrigated land in the CRP and estimates cost savings and other benefits to remaining irrigators in Nebraska and Texas over a 40-year period.

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