By Katie Allen
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Getting the most value out of irrigation water is likely on the minds of many Kansas farmers. As groundwater supplies diminish, pumping rates decline and talk of local water conservation policies surface in the state, these farmers face even more difficulty in determining how to best manage limited water.
Nathan Hendricks, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University, recently examined how the value of agricultural production declines as water availability decreases. He specifically looked at two general management methods to determine which is more effective: deficit irrigation on a larger number of acres versus more intense irrigation on a smaller number of acres.