Development of an optimal water allocation decision tool for the major crops during the water deficit period in the southeast United States

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We developed a dynamic economic model to optimize irrigation water allocations during water deficit periods for three major crops grown in the humid southeastern United States. Analysis involved the use of crop simulation models to capture (a) the yield water relationship and (b) soil moisture dynamics from one week to another week. A hy-drological model was used to find the water supply; combinations of hydrological and simulation models were used to find the optimal water allocation during each week in corn, cotton and peanuts. Results indicated that farmers should irrigate the most valuable crop first (peanuts) before applying water to other crops (corn and cotton). Results also showed that, because of restriction on total water supply, an increase in crop acreage did not increase the net revenue of the farm in a proportionate amount. Results should provide guidelines to water managers, engineers, policy makers, and farmers regarding an optimal amount of water allocation that will maximize net returns when water shortage is a serious concern. © 2005 Rocky Mountain Mathematics Consortium.

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Natural Resource Modeling

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