Submitted to: Colorado State University Newsletter
Publication Type: Research notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2007
Publication Date: 4/30/2007
Citation: Nielsen, D.C. 2007. Estimated Yield of Some Alternative Crops Under Varying Irrigation in Northeast Colorado. Colorado State University Newsletter. Vol. 26:Issue I. Pgs.8-9. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Much of the irrigated acres in northeastern Colorado are devoted to corn grain production. Diversifying irrigated agricultural production in this region could result in water savings if alternative crops were grown that have lower water requirements than corn. Making such crop choice decisions initially requires knowledge of how yields of new crops respond to water. Production functions for 17 crops have been developed at Akron, Colorado relating crop yield to crop water use. This paper presents the production functions for corn, three oilseeds, three seed legumes, and three grass forages. The production functions were used to estimate yields under average precipitation conditions at three eastern Colorado locations having three feet of soil at field capacity water content at planting, and receiving 3, 6, 9, or 12 inches of irrigation. Corn was much more productive that any of the other seed crops due to its very high yield response to additional units of water use (582.2 lb/a/in). The presented estimated alternative crop yields under varying irrigation application amounts give farmers a starting place to determine the consequences of growing a crop other than corn. The current high prices for corn, however, do not promote the production of any of these alternative crops.