Plans for farms using supplemental irrigation in the proposed South Saskatchewan River irrigation project

by Bernard Henry Sonntag

Institution: University of Saskatchewan
Year: 1965
Record ID: 1837341
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10388/etd-08192008-135450


The overall objective of this study was to develop profit-maximizing plans for farms using supplemental irrigation in the initial phase of the proposed South Saskatchewan River Irrigation Project. The optimum farm organization for any particular farm depends on the quantity and quality of the resources available, the efficiency with which these resources can be combined and the prices obtained for the resultant products. This study attempted to develop optimum plans for a one-section farm under various resource supply, production efficiency and price situations. The variable resource programming procedure was used to derive these plans. With this procedure the supply of a scarce resource can be varied from zero to an unlimiting amount and the optimum plans commensurate with all levels of the variable resource can be obtained. By allowing irrigation capital to vary the optimum plans were derived for various combinations of irrigated and dryland farming on a one-section farm. The primary source of data for this study was the Irrigation Budget Standards developed by the Department of Agricultural Economics of the University of Saskatchewan and the Conservation and Development Branch of the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture. Other sources included the Department of Animal Science and various research bulletins. In total eleven one-resource variable programs and one two-resource variable program were carried out. All of these were based on a one-section dryland farm which had a machine and building complement adequate for that size of dryland unit, no livestock or livestock facilities, and a labor supply of one full-time operator and a small amount of family labor. In an attempt to assess the effect of irrigation development and livestock production on the optimum farm organization provisions were made in the model for borrowing livestock development capital, irrigation development capital and additional operating funds. Other resources made available to the farm were seasonal supplies of hired labor, limited amounts of community pasture and off-farm hay and feed grain. The production alternatives included in the model allowed various combinations of these resources. Subsequent programs dealt with different labor supplies, production alternatives, production efficiencies and price ratios. Programs 2 and 3 excluded family labor and hired labor, respectively, from the situation posed in program 1. Program 4 was the same as program 1 except that the hay buying and selling alternatives were excluded. In programs 5, 6, and 7, the hog activities were eliminated from the situations posed in programs 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The effect of higher labor efficiency in livestock production on the optimum farm organization of program 1 was examined in program 8. Livestock feed efficiencies were reduced in program 9. The effects on farm organization of higher grain to livestock price ratios in situations with and without hogs were examined in programs 10 and 11. The results of the programs which dealt with different labor…