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It is hypothesized that Utah beef producers in certain locations could intensify private land use via improved forages and irrigation. Although intensification could increase ranch productivity and help compensate for any future restrictions in public grazing, is the approach profitable and sustainable in a dynamic environment? We investigated the efficacy of intensification using linear programming for three size-classes of model ranches. Model solutions maximize returns net of forage costs; outputs include brood-herd dynamics, optimal forage mixes, and net returns. The model is driven by 11-year risk scenarios combining high or low precipitation with high or low beef prices. We then consider current or no access...
Dissolved mineral salts (salinity) adversely affects numerous urban and agricultural users of Colorado River water in southwestern United States and in Mexico. More than a third of the salt load is thought to be induced by drainage from irrigated lands onto highly saline groundwater deposits in the Upper Colorado Basin in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Various public policy initiatives are proposed to induce farmers to reduce discharges of this nonpoint pollutant. Taxes on water, water conservation subsidies, and land and water rights purchases are analyzed in a linear programming framework. The allocative efficiency and the distribution of control costs and damages among irrigators, water users, and taxpayers are...