|Author:||Rodrigues, Gon©'alo C. ; Pereira, Luis S.|
|Book Group Author:||NA|
This study aims at assessing the feasibility of deficit irrigation of maize, wheat and sunflower through an analysis of the economic water productivity (EWP). It focuses on selected sprinkler-irrigated fields in Vigia Irrigation District, Southern Portugal. Various scenarios of water deficits and water availability were considered. Simulations were performed for average, high and very high climatic demand. The potential crop yields were estimated from regional climatic data and local information. Using field collected data on yield values, production costs, water costs, commodity prices and irrigation performance, indicators on EWP were calculated. Results show that a main bottleneck for adopting deficit irrigation is the presently low performance of the irrigation systems used in the considered fields, which leads to high water use and low EWP. Decreasing water use through deficit irrigation also decreases the EWP. Limited water deficits for maize are likely to be viable when the irrigation performance is improved if water prices do not increase much, and the commodity price does not return to former low levels. The sunflower crop, despite lower sensitivity to water deficits than maize, does not appear to be a viable solution to replace maize when water restrictions are high; however it becomes an attractive crop if recently high commodity prices are maintained. With improved irrigation performance, wheat deficit irrigation is viable including when full water costs are applied, if former low prices are not returned to. However, under drought conditions full water costs are excessive. Thus, adopting deficit irrigation requires not only an appropriate irrigation scheduling but higher irrigation performance, and that the application of a water prices policy would be flexible, thus favouring the improvement of the irrigation systems.
|Pages:||536 - 551|
agricultural products, production costs, sprinklerirrigation, commodity prices, irrigation systems, irrigation scheduling,water policy, water stress, profitability, economic impact, water useefficiency, Zea mays, deficit irrigation, crop yield, corn, Helianthusannuus, economic analysis, Triticum aestivum, wheat, Portugal