Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Summary An array of irrigation systems are available which can be broadly classified as being gravity flow or pressurized. Pressurized irrigation systems provide better control on the amount of applied water and, in most cases, better irrigation uniformity than gravity flow systems. They also have a higher initial capital cost than gravity flow systems and an analysis is required to determine whether the improved performance of pressurized systems justifies the additional costs. An economic analysis was done on several irrigation systems which included consideration of farm management costs associated with a given irrigation system, shifts in crop yield and drainage volumes associated with the optimal management of each irrigation system, and costs associated with disposal of drainage waters. Cotton was selected as the crop for analysis. Irrigation uniformity is a significant determinant to the results. Although irrigation uniformities can be highly variable based on design, maintenance and management, a typical uniformity for each irrigation system was selected. For the conditions of the analysis, gravity flow systems were calculated to be more profitable than pressurized systems if there was no constraint on the amount of drainage water generated or cost for its disposal. Imposition of costs for drainage water disposal induced a shift whereby pressurized systems became more profitable than gravity flow systems.
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