UNL CropWatch Dec. 22, 2010 Water Optimizer Updated with New Options

UNL CropWatch Dec. 22, 2010 Water Optimizer Updated with New Options

Dec. 22, 2010

Download new models at


UNL's Water Optimizer has been updated and new releases are now available for downloading at agecon.unl.edu/wateroptimizer.  This release allows users to calculate the most profitable crop and irrigation levels using the new multi-field and multi-year models.

The Water Optimizer was developed to address water shortages from drought and interstate water rights litigation.  The tool evaluates single fields for several crop options. Irrigated crops include: corn, soybeans, sorghum, wheat, alfalfa, edible beans, sunflowers, and sugar beets. Dryland crops include: corn, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, alfalfa and wheat in continuous, summer fallow and eco-fallow rotations.

Water Optimizer is a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet that allows users to describe a field in terms of soil type, irrigation system options, well and pump characteristics, and water supply. Irrigation options include center pivot or gravity irrigation systems, well or canal delivery, and systems powered by electricity, diesel, or natural gas. After entering this basic information, producers can either use the default values in the model or enter their own production costs, irrigation costs, crop prices and crop choices. After these parameters have been set, the program calculates what crops and irrigation application levels will be most profitable with the amount of land and water available.

Kara Heideman
Department of Agricultural Economics