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where Y is the actual harvested yield (kg ha ); Ym the agronomic maximum yield that can be achieved when crop development is not limited by water availability or other factors (kg ha ky the proportionality factor, shows the sensitivity of the crop to water stress; ETa the actual crop evapotranspiration (mm); ETm the crop evapotranspiration for maximum yield (mm); and i represents the developmental stages of the crop.

This model allows to determine the relationship between the gross margin and the gross irrigation depth. Normally, the authors work with water application cost, Coefficient Uniformity (CU) and water cost scenarios for each irrigated area. The relation between the gross margin and the gross irrigation depth allow us to analyze the water irrigation depth that maximizes the gross margin (optimum water depth).

MOPECO uses the relation between gross margin and the irrigation depth for an individual crop to optimize crop rotation on the entire farm. Crop rotation must meet certain restrictions (Fig. 27). These restrictions should ensure that the simulation setting reflects the actual situation. Table 18 shows an example of the results for the La Mancha test-site in Albacete. The total irrigated area is 15,190 ha and the available volume for irrigation is 63.8 hm3/year. These results were developed within Project DeSurvey (A surveillance system for assessing desertification. Ref. SUSTDEV-CT-2004-003950-2) funded by the European Commission. The objective of this project is to develop a methodology for fighting desertification processes (www.desurvey.net).

Table 18: Optimizer results for La Mancha test-site
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