Economic Benefit of Irrigation on Beef Ranches

by David L. Watt, North Dakota State Univ, Fargo, ND, USA,
Roger G. Johnson, North Dakota State Univ, Fargo, ND, USA,
Mir B. Ali, North Dakota State Univ, Fargo, ND, USA,
Larry J. Schluntz, North Dakota State Univ, Fargo, ND, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation Systems for the 21st Century

Abstract: Drought can result in forage shortages leading to possible liquidation of the breeding herd. Liquidation is often at depressed prices, and replacement may be at elevated prices. In this study, 31 years (1955-1985) of a typical ranch operation in southeast South Dakota are simulated for both irrigated and dryland operations to estimate the long-run impacts of irrigation on the stability of herd size and ranch income. The paper indicates ways that irrigation projects impacting cattle producing areas can be evaluated to capture the economic benefits of stabilized beef cow carrying capacity.

Subject Headings: Irrigation | Economic factors | Water resources | Livestock | Pricing | Droughts | Irrigation water | Load bearing capacity | North America | South Dakota | United States

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