Agricultural Irrigation

Agricultural Production Agricultural Irrigation

Agricultural Irrigation

Agricultural water users can optimize water use efficiency and protect the quality of water resources by applying basic information about irrigation systems, crop water use and management practices.

Regulations & Policies

Nebraska water resources play a major role in the state's heritage and economy. Beginning with the state constitution, Nebraska surface waters have been governed by the Appropriative First-in-Time, First-in-Right Rule which allows diversion of water from the surface waters of the state based upon the date the water right was obtained. Surface water rights entitle land owners or organizations to remove a set amount of water from a specific location.

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Order CD/DVD Set

Order the Water Optimizer CD/DVD set for $7.00. The CD/DVD set contains material not available for download: background information, applications, examples and research results for the Water Optimizer program.

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Water Optimizer Tool

The Water Optimizer tool evaluates single fields for several crop options. Irrigated crops include: corn, soybeans, sorghum, wheat, alfalfa, edible beans, sunflowers, and sugar beets. Dryland crops include: corn, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, alfalfa and wheat in continuous, summer fallow and eco-fallow rotations.

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Economics & Costs

The University of Nebraska's Bureau of Business Research conducted a study in 2003 to determine the impact of irrigated agriculture on Nebraska 's economy. The net total economic impact was computed by comparing impacts with irrigation to what would have resulted without irrigation. The research examined actual 2003 impacts and what would have occurred if average precipitation had occurred. For normal precipitation the total impact of irrigation would have been just over $3.6 billion per year. Since 2003 was a drought year, the actual economic impact was more than $4.5 billion.

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Crop Water Use (Evapotranspiration)

The evapotranspiration (ET) process is a key variable in many disciplines including irrigation management, crop growth, hydrologic cycle, plant physiology, soil-plant-water-atmosphere relationships, microclimate and surface interactions, and drainage studies.

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