Changes in government farm programs and the introduction of new technology offer wheat producers in the western Great Plains a variety of management practices to alleviate biotic and agronomic constraints inherent in a wheat monoculture. Producers have adopted alternative tillage systems, crop diversification, and insect-resistant varieties in response to the hot, semiarid growing conditions and increased pest pressure. The objective of this study was to determine if those practices generated positive impacts on wheat yield and corresponding net returns. Panel data collected from a group of 141 producers over a four-year period (N = 564) were analyzed using econometric models. The most significant impacts were from crop diversification, which on average more than doubled returns from $29 to $69 per acre compared to a wheat monoculture. Pest-resistant varieties increased returns by 59%, from $32 to $51 per acre. The use of no-till reduced returns by an average of $13 per acre, but when combined with a modest level of crop diversity, returns approached breakeven. Stakeholders should aspire to increase the profitability of no-till to increase its adoption in this environmentally sensitive region.
Vitale, Jeffrey; Vitale, Pilja Park; Epplin, Francis; Giles, Kris; Elliott, Norm; Peairs, Frank; Burgener, Paul; Keenan, Sean; Michels, Gerald; and Hein, Gary
"Farm Management Practices Used by Wheat Producers in the Western Great Plains: Estimating Their Productivity and Profitability,"
Journal of Applied Farm Economics: Vol. 3
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jafe/vol3/iss1/4