Ag Data Commons
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Economic Model of Deficit Irrigation II (spreadsheet)

posted on 2024-02-15, 21:59 authored by Thomas TroutThomas Trout

This spreadsheet model calculates the net income for irrigated agricultural production. The model is designed to evaluate the economics of deficit irrigation (irrigation at less than the amount required to produce maximum yield).

The spreadsheet first models the water production function for a crop, then uses that relationship along with crop price and production costs to calculate net income and the irrigation amount that maximizes net income.

This spreadsheet is similar to another posted at Ag Data Commons: "Economic Model of Deficit Irrigation" ( That model was designed primarily to evaluate deficit irrigation as a means to compare revenue with reduced water consumption to income gained by transferring the saved water.

The model includes two common scenarios: 1) irrigation water supply is adequate but expensive, and 2) irrigation water supply is inadequate to fully irrigate the available land. In the first scenario, net income is maximized when the marginal costs of production, including water, is equal to the marginal revenue. In the second scenario, net income is maximized when the value of the water is maximized by selecting the portion of the land that should be irrigated. In the second scenario, the value and costs of the un-irrigated land are included.

The first worksheet of the spreadsheet describes the relationships used in each worksheet and the input parameters required. Additional worksheets calculate the water production function, the irrigation water production function, and the net income for each of the two scenarios. The worksheets allow the user to input the various biophysical and economic parameters relevant to their conditions and allows evaluating various parameter combinations. Each worksheet contains graphs to visualize the results.

Resources in this dataset:

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

    File Name: WPF Econ Model V2 Mod.xlsx

    Resource Description: Spreadsheet contains 5 worksheets. The first worksheet describes the relationships in the remaining worksheets and the parameters required by the model.

    Resource Software Recommended: Microsoft Excel 365 (may work on earlier versions),url:

  • Resource Title: Description of the Model.

    File Name: DataDictionary.pdf

    Resource Description: Description of the model and input parameters.

    Resource Software Recommended: Adobe Reader,url:


USDA-ARS: 3012-13000-010-00-D


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.

Temporal Extent Start Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

The model is not site specific and is applicable to any irrigated area where irrigation water is expensive or inadequate. Scenarios are based on western U.S. irrigated areas.

ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • farming

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

econometric models; deficit irrigation; income; production functions; crop prices; production costs; irrigation rates; irrigation water; water supply; graphs; models

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 (2020). Economic Model of Deficit Irrigation II (spreadsheet). Ag Data Commons.