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The Impact Of Conservation Tillage On The Productivity And Stability Of Maize Cropping Systems: A Case Study In Western Mexico


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  • Jourdain, Damien
  • Scopel, Eric
  • Affholder, Francois
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    This paper examines the economics of introducing conservation tillage into maize cropping systems in the state of Jalisco, in the western part of Mexico. A stochastic cost-benefit analysis (SCBA) of introducing conservation tillage in two contrasting agro-climatic zones in the four main maize management systems in the area was carried out. The SCBA takes into account the effects of conservation tillage on average returns and fully evaluates its potential risk-reducing aspect. The SCBA results were then used for a stochastic dominance analysis to evaluate farmers' incentives, characterized by their aversion to risk. The analysis reveals that although conservation tillage is economically viable, cash-constrained farmers, especially in the dry areas, may not readily adopt it. This is because conservation tillage is not adapted to small-scale farmers in Mexico, who lack seeding equipment and need techniques that are less reliant on herbicides. It is suggested that more work should be done with the participation of farmers in the region to attain a conservation tillage system that is better adapted to their circumstances.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in its series Economics Working Papers with number 46549.

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    Date of creation: 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ags:cimmew:46549

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    Postal: Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico, D.F.
    Phone: +52(55) 5804-2004
    Fax: +52(55) 5804-7558
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    Keywords: Mexico; Jalisco; Plant production; Production factors; Cropping systems; Conservation tillage; Innovation adoption; Input output analysis; Economic analysis; Small farms; Productivity Analysis;


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    1. Sain, Gustavo & Lopez-Pereira, Miguel A., 1999. "Maize Production and Agricultural Policies in Central America and Mexico," Economics Working Papers 7680, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
    2. Goh, Siew & Shih, Chao-Chyuan & Cochran, Mark J. & Raskin, Rob, 1989. "A Generalized Stochastic Dominance Program For The Ibm Pc," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 21(02), December.
    3. Meyer, Jack, 1977. "Choice among distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 326-336, April.
    4. Jones, C. A. & Dyke, P. T. & Williams, J. R. & Kiniry, J. R. & Benson, V. W. & Griggs, R. H., 1991. "EPIC: An operational model for evaluation of agricultural sustainability," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 341-350.
    5. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hartkamp, A. D. & White, J. W. & Hoogenboom, G., 2003. "Comparison of three weather generators for crop modeling: a case study for subtropical environments," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 539-560, May.


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