Ag Data Commons
2 files

Economic Model of Deficit Irrigation

posted on 2024-02-15, 19:48 authored by Thomas TroutThomas Trout

This spreadsheet is a model of the economics of deficit irrigation that is described in detail in: Trout, T.J. and D.T. Manning. 2019. An economic and biophysical model of deficit irrigation. Agron. J. 111:1–12. doi:10.2134/agronj2019.03.0209 .

The model calculates net income from a crop on a unit of land based on a quadratic crop water production function, amount of effective precipitation, irrigation efficiency, cost of the irrigation water supply, crop production costs, and revenue from selling the crop. The model includes potential income from leasing out saved irrigation water. All biophysical variables are defined in terms of the relative evapotranspiration. Net income is maximized by optimizing the amount of water consumed by the crop.

The spreadsheet progressively presents biophysical and economic models of deficit irrigation with water leasing. Economic and biophysical parameters are input into the highlighted cells of each worksheet. Parameters from previous worksheets are copied to following worksheets. Relationships are graphed. Output is the net income (NI) for a set of biophysical and economic parameters and level of deficit irrigation that maximizes net income.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: Economic Model of Deficit Irrigation (spreadsheet).

    File Name: WPF Econ Model V2.xlsx

  • Resource Title: Description of the Model.

    File Name: Description of the Deficit Irrigation Economics Model.pdf

    Resource Description: Description of the Model inputs and operation.




Data contact name

Trout, Thomas

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Intended use

The model is designed to assist irrigation farmers and water managers and water management agencies to evaluate the economic impact of reducing irrigation water use through deficit irrigation.

Use limitations

The model requires market prices of commodities and water and typical costs of production. The model also requires estimates of precipitation and irrigation amounts and use efficiencies.


  • Not specified

Geographic location - description

The model is not site specific and is applicable to any irrigated area where water has a market value. A sample application based on NE Colorado conditions is given.

ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • farming

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

economics; deficit irrigation; production functions; irrigation; irrigation water; water supply; crop production; production costs; evapotranspiration; econometric models; models; computer software

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 211

Primary article PubAg Handle

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Trout, Thomas (2019). Economic Model of Deficit Irrigation. Ag Data Commons.