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Water 2017, 9(12), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9120990

Assessing the Potential Economic Viability of Precision Irrigation: A Theoretical Analysis and Pilot Empirical Evaluation

1
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanin 50, 40127 Bologna, Italy
2
Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via delle Belle Arti 41, 40126 Bologna, Italy
3
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanin 50, Bologna 40127, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digitalisation of Water Management in Agriculture)
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Abstract

The present study explores the value generated by the use of information to rationalize the use of water resources in agriculture. The study introduces the value of information concept in the field of irrigation developing a theoretical assessment framework to evaluate whether the introduction of “Precision Irrigation” (PI) practices can improve expectations on income. This is supported by a Stakeholders consultation and by a numerical example, using secondary data and crop growth models. The study reveals that the value generated with the transition to PI varies with pedo-climate, economic, technological and other conditions, and it depends on the initial status of the farmer’s information environment. These factors affect the prerequisite needed to make viable PI. To foster the adoption of PI, stakeholders envisaged the need to set up free meteorological information and advisory service that supports farmers in using PI, as well as other type of instruments. The paper concludes that the profitability of adoption and the relevant impact on the environment cannot be considered as generally given, but must be evaluated case by case justifying (or not) the activation of specific agricultural policy measures supporting PI practices to target regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Precision Irrigation; value of information; adoption; Stakeholders consultation Precision Irrigation; value of information; adoption; Stakeholders consultation
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Galioto, F.; Raggi, M.; Viaggi, D. Assessing the Potential Economic Viability of Precision Irrigation: A Theoretical Analysis and Pilot Empirical Evaluation. Water 2017, 9, 990.

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