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Which of the following would be most useful to determine in

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Which of the following would be most useful to determine in

Post Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:40 pm
Farmers get water at subsidized rates that are much lower than the increasingly high prices fetched on the open market.
Some farmers are debating whether to continue irrigating their crops and sell their produce or to let the crops die and sell
their irrigation water to needy cities and other farms.

Which of the following would be most useful to determine in order to evaluate the farmers' current debate?

A: Whether farmers will get water at subsidized rates in the future.
B: Whether produce prices will increase if some farmers let their crops die.
C: whether irrigation water needs to be filtered and purified before drinking.
D: Whether their crops, if allowed to die, can easily be replanted the following year.
E: Whether the price of water will continue to increase at its current rate.

I'm confused between B and D. Can any experts help?

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elias.latour.apex Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:28 pm
Our goal is to evaluate the farmers' plan to stop producing crops and instead sell their water to other needy farmers (and cities). Generally speaking, these types of problems can be solved by the variance test. That is to say, we can offer opposing answers to each option to determine whether this information would be useful.

For example, let us take answer choice A. Let us suppose "Yes, water prices will remain subsidized in the future." In no way does this offer useful information to the farmers as to whether they should sell their water now.

But the real question posed is how to determine between B and D. Let us first examine B. Let us suppose that we say "Yes, produce prices will increase if the farmers let their crops die and instead sell their water." At first you might think that this is relevant. However, if the farmers sell their water, they will not have access to the higher produce prices. On the other hand, if they don't sell their water, there will be no higher produce prices to take advantage of. In either situation, the farmers will be unable to benefit from the theoretical higher produce prices. Accordingly, it is information that should not guide their choice.

D, on the other hand, is relevant. Imagine that we say "Yes, farmers can easily replant their crops next year." If so, then they can easily take advantage of the water prices. If, on the other hand, we answer "No, they cannot easily replant next year. The trees will take several years to grow big enough to generate a profitable produce harvest" then we can see that selling the water is a bad idea. Therefore, D is useful information and the best answer.

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Elias Latour
Verbal Specialist @ ApexGMAT
blog.apexgmat.com
+1 (646) 736-7622

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