Economics & Costs

Economic Impact Study

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. For more details, please see the Economic Importance of Irrigated Agriculture report (PDF 28pgs, 812KB) available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau site.

The Water Optimizer Tool

After entering some basic information, producers enter their production costs, irrigation costs, crop prices, crop type and available water. After these parameters have been set, the program calculates what crops will be most profitable with the given costs and available water. Free Download or order the CD/DVD set.

UNL Extension Circular

10 Easy Ways to Boost Profits $20/Acre, Extension Circular EC196 (PDF)
A compilation of 22 fact sheets, each of which describes how a change in farming practice can increase profits by a minimum of $2 per practice. Topics range from management strategies for inputs and pests to tillage and irrigation.

Fact Sheets from this circular dealing with irrigation cost efficiency include #3, #18, #19, & #20.

UNL Extension NebGuides

Converting Center Pivot Sprinkler Packages: System Considerations, G1124
Describes system-oriented factors that should be considered when changing sprinkler packages on a center pivot irrigation system.

Managing Furrow Irrigation Systems, G1338
Proper furrow irrigation practices can minimize water application, irrigation costs and chemical leaching and result in higher crop yields.