Department of Economics
Completion of Oahe dam across the Missouri river near Pierre, South Dakota, means that landowners in east-central South Dakota must soon decide whether to use or not to use water stored in Oahe reservoir for irrigation. In making this decision landowners and other interested persons want to know if irrigation farming will be more profitable than dryland farming and what problems will be involved in the changeover. Farming in central South Dakota has been a high risk venture because of variations and low level of rainfall. Irrigation is one means of stabilizing and increasing production and incomes from farms in the area.
This study was designed to answer these questions insofar as present knowledge of future conditions permits. Only limited knowledge of production under irrigation in the area is available from experiences of a few farmers with well irrigation and from experimental work on Redfield development farm. Experiences from other irrigated areas of limited comparability are also available. Estimates used in the analysis on future operation and maintenance charges, construction, and costs of developing land for irrigation are furnished by the Bureau of Reclamation.
South Dakota dryland farming economics, South Dakota irrigated farming economics, Oahe Dam
South Dakota Experiment Station, South Dakota State University
Helfinstine, R. D., "Economic Comparison of Irrigated and Dryland Farming in Central South Dakota" (1964). Research Bulletins of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (1887-2011). 518.