Economic evaluation of using surge valves in furrow irrigation of row crops in Louisiana: A net present value approach

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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Addressing irrigation water efficiency continues to emerge as one of the potential solutions to minimize irrigation water use, improve water quality, and enhance soil health. Despite the clear importance of financial information in decision‐making regarding adoption of irrigation tools, little information is available regarding the profitability outlook of such adoption. Lack of assessment of costs and returns could lead to producers resisting adoption citing profit reductions. Hence, a cost-assessment using the financial information is necessary to evaluate the tools’ economic outlook. By using long-term projections of input prices, crop yield, and crop prices, this paper develops a financial analysis of irrigation using surge valves by calculating annual cash flows and net present value. The analysis is based on demonstration plot results and anecdotal estimates related to water savings and yield improvements in corn and soybeans in Louisiana and Mississippi. The positive estimates for net present value indicate that an investment in irrigation efficiency improvement is an economically sound choice. These estimates can enhance the adoption of irrigation‐efficiency improvement practices by providing an initial understanding of the overall profitability independent of short-term management decisions.

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Agricultural Water Management

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