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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1956. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1956, the author. Used by permission.


The basic problem is that farmers on many of the pump irrigated farms have failed to gain the maximum benefits that are possible under irrigation.Considerable benefits are possible, especially by methods of farming that will maintain long-time fertility.These new irrigation farmers face a variety of problems.

For lack of more definite information and from force of habit, farmers have a tendency to grow the same crops which they grew under dry-farming conditions—especially corn—and in many cases they irrigate only corn.Actually, other crops may be profitably irrigated in order to utilize more fully the fixed investment of the irrigation system and to increase net returns. The first problem area in this study was the determination of the most profitable cropping system for pump irrigated farms.

Many farmers do not combine a sufficient number of livestock with their crops for maximum income and for maintaining fertility.Many farmers have less livestock than the feed produced on an irrigated farm will support. This is especially true with the fairly large quantities of hay produced under a good irrigation rotation. Barnyard manure is also important as a fertilizer, especially on irrigated land cropped intensively.

Another problem is that irrigation farmers often use insufficient quantities of commercial fertilizer. The use of commercial fertilizer is in its infancy in this area.The importance of legumes in rotations also needs to be brought out.

The objectives of this study are:

  1. To compare, for typical pump irrigated farms of this area, two proposed cropping systems with the cropping systems now in use on these farms.

  2. To determine economically efficient use of irrigation facilities on these farms. (Including a determination of whether or not certain crops—now commonly dry-farmed on irrigable lands of this area—might be irrigated to good advantage.)

  3. To compare several proposed livestock systems with the live-stock systems now in use on these farms.

  4. To evaluate the economy of using more commercial fertilizer than is now being used on these farms.

Advisor: A. W. Epp