TABLE I Per Acre Cost of Developing Desert Land Exclusive of Social Costs SUGGESTED REFERENCES Castle Emery, and Dwyer, Carroll, Irrigation Possibilities in the Fort Rock Area, Circular of Information 558, AgricuLturaL Experiment Station, Oregon State University, CorvaLLis, Oregon, July, 1956. Fogel, Martin, and Myles, George A., Pumping From Irrigation Wells, Bulletin 110, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, July, 1962. Hardman, George, and Mason, Howard G., The Irrlgaled Lands of Nevada, Bulletin 183, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, August, 1959. additional transportation to and from new areas, costs of providing schools, churches, and other community developments. Table I indicates initial investment and annual costs per acre of developing new desert land exclusive of social costs. These costs are based on 160 acres of irrigated land being developed in one tract with one well to furnish the water. Of the $278 to $298 development cost shown in the table, $120 is a non-cash cost. However, this discount is a real loss if the land is not readily tillable to produce to its fullest capacity. Development cost would be reduced to $158 to $178 per acre if this cost was not incurred. Developing desert land is not an inexpensive venture. Persons entering these ventures must be prepared to spend about $28,000 to develop a 160-acre tract in addition to the dwellings, farm buildings, roads, and similar items that a family needs in the new community. TotaL cost- Surface system $278.40 Sprinkler system $298.00 .Ooes not Include operation or maintenance costs. Annual cost· $2.40 8.54 6.57 9.24 1.28 8.06 $26.85 $29.52 Life and Interest 10 yrs. @ 6% 15 yrs, @ 6% 10 yrs. @ 6% 10 yrs. @ 6% 10 yrs. @ 6% 20 yrs. @ 6% Initial Investment $17.60 83.00 48.40 68.00 9.40 120.00. Item Land clearing . Well, pump and motor .. Surface system of irrigation.. Sprinkler system _ . Fence . Loss of income . SOCIAL COSTS Other costs associated with the development of desert land have been classified as social. These include dwellings, farm buildings, culinary water, roads, and similar items. Social costs of another nature include DISCOUNTING FOR DEVELOPMENT CROPS In many cases when new land is developed, the crops from the first two or three years are planted to increase fertility, build tilth, or used as a nurse crop for a higher value cash crop. In this case, the land value must be discounted for the number of years required to bring it into full production. For example, land being developed to produce alfalfa seed with an expected net income of $100 per acre may have to be planted to small grain for three years to treat for alkalinity and build tilth for better water penetration. The grain would net only $34 per acre. This loss of $66 per acre for three years has to be charged against the cost of development because the land hasn't reached its full potential. The total charge isn't three times $66.or $198 per acre, but the average for four years discounted at 6 percent. This amounts to $40 per acre per year for three years that must be charged as loss of income. FENCING COSTS Most of the new land development has occurred upon public domain areas which have been used for grazing. This means that the surrounding land still carries grazing rights and will probably be used as such. This makes outside fences a necessity. Outside fencing for a 160acre development requires two miles of fence at $750 per mile or a total cost of $1,500. This averages $9.40 an acre. average soil movement of 300 yards per acre is sufficient for leveling. Other costs include miscellaneous irrigation equipment such as dams, shovels, and siphon tubes. A sprinkler system costs more per acre initially. Investment in additional power to run the system, main line, laterals, and heads, increase the cost to about $68 an acre. CLEARING AND TILLAGE 'COSTS . Clearing and initial tillage' cp'sts :vliiy'with.rlatural . .conditions of density and sizeoi' brush, .soil typealld.: slope, and the size and shape of fielq\l.tobe"brought,..in" to cultivation. A rotary brush beater is most often used to clear. land in Nevada. The machine works well on sagebrush' and similar plants. Operating costs, inCludiDg tractor power, labor, fuel, and depreciation' on equipment, average $3.55 an acre. Tillage costs, including land planing for initial development, amountto $14.05 an acre. .WATER..DEVELOPMENT COSTS Procurement otwater is the biggest cost in developing desert land. Research in Nevada indicates an investment of $83 per acre for obtaining water to irrigate 160 a.cres from a 400-foot; 16:,inch well pumping at 100 feet with diesel power. , Water distribUtion costs depend upon the system. Costs of .land leveling, ditch system, reservoirs, and irrigation equipment must be considered in planning a surface system.· These cost about $48 an acre if the LAND DEVELOPMENT IN NEVADA By WILLIAM V. NEELY Extension Production Economist Nevada's desert valleys contain thousands of acres of fertile land that beckon to the modern agricultural pioneer. The first consideration that confronts the potential desert land developer is the "five-costs" of bringing new land into" production. These costs are: clearing and tillage, water development, fencing, crop development, and social. Depending on the type of irrigation system installed, development costs will run about $278 to $298 per acre. While each fully developed acre returns about $50 net income to the operator annually, development is economically feasible and desirable. Since these acres are potential producers of intensive .irrigated crops, it is well to look at the "five-costs'·' of desert land development individually. Harris, Karl, Aepli, D. C., and Pew, W. D., Tillage Practices for Irrigated Soils, Bulletin 257, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, June, 1954. Holje, Helmer c., Huffman, Roy E., and Kraengel, Carl, Indi· rect Benefits of Irrigation Development Methodology and Measurement, Technical Bulletin 517, Agricultural Experi· ment Station, Montana State College, Bozeman, Montana, March, 1956. Houston, Clyde E., Consumptive Use of Water by Alfalfa in Western Nevada, Bulletin 191, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, November, 1955. Schulz, Otto R., Grain Varieties Grown in Nevada, Bulletin 107, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, April, 1952. Stewart, Clyde E., Recent Land and Ground-Water Development in Utah Under the Desert Land Act. An Economic Appraisal, Bulletin 418, Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, March, 1960. Wennergren, E. B., and Roberts, N. K, Federal Grant Lands in Utah, Bulletin 437, Agricultural Experiment .Station, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, January, 1963. Mason, Howard G., and Wood, Garland, New Lands From Ground Water Development, Bulletin 194, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, June, 1957. McCormick, John A., and Myers, Victor I., Irrigation of Certain Forage Crops, Circular 20, Agricultural Experi. ment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, November, 1958. McCormick, John A., and Naphan, Edmund A., Understanding the Irrigated Soils of Nevada, Circular 8, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, February, 1955. Miller, Meredith R., Hardman, George, and Mason, Howard G., Irrigation Water of Nevada, Bulletin 187, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, June, 1953. Myles, George A., Fogel, Martin, and Batchelder, Fred, Eco· nomics of Well Irrigation Systems, Circular 38, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, July, 1962. Myles, George A., and Wallace, L. T., Nevada Alfalfa Produc· tion and Costs, Bulletin 212, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, August, 1960. Neely, William V., A Cost Guide for Irrigation, Circular 79, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada. Neely, William V., Cost and Returns From Cash Crops in Southern Nevada, Circular 102, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada. 4S94 Cooperative Extension work In agrlculture and home economics, State of Nevada. The UniversIty of Nevada College of Agriculture and the U. S. Department of Agrlculture cooperating. Distributed In furtherance of purposes provJded for by Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. DALE W. BOHMONT, DJrector J. F. STEIN, Associate Director ...., Neely, William V., Costs and Returns From Grain and Forage Crops in Southern Nevada, Circular 103, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada. Robertson, J. H., Jensen, E. H., Petersen, R. K, Cords, H. P., and Kinsinger, F. E., Forage Grass Performance Under Irrigation in Nevada, Bulletin 196, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, October, 1958.