Volume 10, Issue 4 (winter 2007)                   2007, 10(4): 45-58 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (19859 Views)
Irrigation water Scarcity is the major limiting factor for crop production in irrigated farming. Therefore, optimal use of water is influenced by seasonal rainfall especially where the water price is high. Nitrogen also plays a key role in plant nutrition. In this study, wheat grain yield production as a function of applied water (irrigation plus seasonal rainfall) and nitrogen fertilizer (applied plus soil residual nitrogen) using existing data of a field experiment, were used. This function was obtained based on the data from the Maraghah Agricultural Experiment station. Based on this production function, maximum attainable yield can be 8.12 t/ha obtained by the consumption of 1.56 m of water (irrigation plus rainfall) and 193 kg/ha of nitrogen. An economic analysis based on the Iso-Quant curve was conducted to optimize the application rates of production inputs (water and nitrogen). When land is limited, the optimum water and nitrogen use will be based on maximizing net returns from land unit area. The optimal levels of these inputs were determined on the basis of farmer ability for paying the costs of water and nitrogen. Furthermore, optimum amounts of water and nitrogen were determined for different levels of wheat yield. The results indicated that despite low price of irrigation water and nitrogen fertilizer, at present market value, optimum values of water were more variable than those of nitrogen, for its high effective role in wheat production. The results also indicated that when there is no limitation of the source and use of water and nitrogen, and farmers are also able to pay their costs, application of 1.47 m of water (irrigation plus rainfall) and 190 kg/ha of nitrogen (applied plus soil residual) will produce maximum profit per hectare, reaching Rls 12,207,506. When water is limited, optimum levels of water and nitrogen will be based on the maximizing profit per unit of water. In this analysis, the use of 0.556 m of water (irrigation plus rainfall) and 190 kg/ha of nitrogen (applied plus soil residual) resulted in maximum net income per unit of applied water (irrigation plus rainfall) amounting to Rls/m3 1203. This amount of water use, which is 64.4 % lower than its amount under maximum yield condition, resulted in 181 % increase of cultivated area. Graphic expansion path on the isolines of yield showed more dependence of wheat production on water than nitrogen. Therefore, the optimum amounts of nitrogen in the three mentioned conditions are close to each other due to its subsidized price and lower effect on wheat production relative to water.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: General

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