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Abstract

High natural gas prices have agricultural producers searching for alternative energy sources for irrigation. The economic feasibility of electric and hybrid (electric/wind) systems are evaluated as alternatives to natural gas powered irrigation. Texas Panhandle and Southern Kansas farms are assessed with a quarter-mile sprinkler system, three crops, and two pumping lifts. Breakeven points identify the price at which conversion from a natural gas irrigation system to an electric or hybrid system is cost effective. Results indicate electricity is a more feasible energy source for irrigation and policy changes such as net metering are necessary to make hybrid systems viable.

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