Profitability in corn production in the Texas Panhandle requires planning and efficient use of a most precious resource--the Ogallala Aquifer.
This vast underground reservoir supplies the pivot irrigation that in turn grows the corn and other crops that fuel the Panhandle economy. And, in town halls from Amarillo to Stratford, urban community members and farmers are having discussions over the wisest and most efficient use of this limited resource.
Agriculture is vital to the economy of the Panhandle region. In a recent study from the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Tech University, researchers found highly irrigated land can produce $240 per acre more than minimally irrigated and $482 per acre more than dryland. This corresponds to about 7,300 jobs across the Texas High Plains that would be lost converting irrigated acres to dryland production, and a net loss of $1.616 billion.
That's $2 billion dollars gone from the economy of the Texas High Plains if irrigation wells are cut off. It's enough to make cities and farmers pay attention.