Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Document Type



Competition for water resources among agricultural, municipal, and industrial sectors is increasing even in a traditionally water rich state like Louisiana. Irrigation water management is likely to be a critical issue in Louisiana in the near future. We conducted state-wide farm surveys to collect information regarding irrigation practices and concerns from Louisiana farmers during the crop years 2015 and 2016.

We analyzed three different issues associated with irrigation water management in Louisiana crop production. These analyses are presented in the form of three different essays. The first essay identifies the determinants of irrigation technology adoption and crop acreage allocation by Louisiana farmers. The estimated results using a multivariate fractional regression model, indicated that education, the extension service, and risk aversion had negative effects, whereas landholding, laser leveling, and rent status had a positive association with furrow irrigation acreage allocation. Similarly, IV-probit estimates showed that educational attainment, laser leveling, and landholding were the major factors affecting irrigation technology adoption. In the second essay, we identify the irrigation efficiency of Louisiana soybean farmers. Estimated results using stochastic frontier analysis showed that the average irrigation inefficiency in Louisiana was about 12%. Farmers can reduce the level of inefficiency by reducing the input level or by increasing the output without altering the current level of input. The efficiency score obtained from data envelopment analysis is lower than that obtained from the stochastic frontier analysis.

In the third essay, we analyzed willingness to pay and willingness to accept values for irrigation. Results showed that the farmers who had more rented land, higher gross farm revenue, and were older were less likely to be involved in water trading. However, farmers with higher education and more owned land were more likely to participate in irrigation water trading. Our study implies that policy makers and the United States Department of Agriculture can develop an incentive structure to motivate farmers to adopt surge valves, moisture sensors, flow meters, and computerized scheduling to increase irrigation efficiency.



Committee Chair

Paudel, Krishna P.