A tool that calculates what crops would be most profitable with given costs and available water has recently been developed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) researchers.

The Water Optimizer tool, according to the Nebraska Crop Watch newsletter, evaluates single fields for several crop options, including irrigated and dryland crops. Users input soil type and irrigation system – center pivot or gravity, well or canal delivery, and electrical, diesel or natural gas power – as well as production and irrigation costs, crop prices, crop type and available water. The program then calculates which crops would be most profitable.
The program will be discussed at the Central Plains Irrigation Conference and Equipment Exposition, mentioned below. The program and user manual are available free to download at http://real.unl.edu/h20/update.html. For $7, a DVD/CD set also includes background information, applications, examples and research results. For more information or to order the DVD/CD set, call 800-755-7765.