Food and Agricultural Policies

by Earl O. Heady, Curtis Distinguished Prof. and Dir.; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State Univ., Ames, Iowa,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 151-159

Document Type: Journal Paper


Agricultural policies have important impacts on the amount and quality of water available for other purposes. Supply control and export programs encourage intensive row cropping and stream sedimentation. Publicly subsidized irrigation increases water demand by more than 50%. High energy prices promise to greatly curtail irrigation from ground-water sources. Supply control programs can be changed to withhold water rather than land from agricultural production which reduce national use of water by agriculture by as much as 60% would cause great variations in water availability by regions. Development policies for agriculture can serve as substitutes for water. These findings stem from national programming models applied to agriculture and basic economic analysis.

Subject Headings: Irrigation water | Agriculture | Water quality | Water policy | Rivers and streams | Sediment | Water demand | Pricing

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