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On Monoculture and the Structure of Crop Rotations

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While rotation strategies are important in determining agricultural commodity supply and environmental benefits from land use, little has been said about the economics of crop rotation. An issue when seeking to identify rotation dominance is whether yield and input-saving carry-over effects persist for one or more years. Focusing on length of carry-over, expected profit maximization, and the monoculture decision, this paper develops principles concerning choice of rotation structure. For some rules that we develop, rotations may be discarded without reference to price levels while other rules require price data. We also show how risk aversion in the presence of price uncertainty can alter preferences over rotations. A further consideration in rotation choice is the allocation of time. The problem of crop choice to manage time commitments through the crop year is formally similar to that of crop choice to manage profit risk.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 04-wp369.

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Date of creation: Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:04-wp369

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Keywords: dominance; jointness; quasiconvexity; rotation algebra; specialization; time rationing.;

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  1. Wu, JunJie & Adams, Richard M. & Kling, Catherine L. & Tanaka, Katsuya, 2004. "From Microlevel Decisions to Landscape Changes: An Assessment of Agricultural Conservation Policies," Staff General Research Papers 12519, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Sokoloff, Kenneth L. & Dollar, David, 1997. "Agricultural Seasonalily and the Organization of Manufacturing in Early Industrial Economies: The Contrast Between England and the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(02), pages 288-321, June.
  3. P. F. Brandon, 1972. "Cereal Yields on the Sussex Estates of Battle Abbey during the Later Middle Ages," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 25(3), pages 403-420, 08.
  4. Whatley, Warren C., 1987. "Southern Agrarian Labor Contracts as Impediments to Cotton Mechanization," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 45-70, March.
  5. Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," NBER Working Papers 4084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Newell, William H., 1973. "The Agricultural Revolution in Nineteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 697-731, December.
  7. J. H. Plumb, 1952. "Sir Robert Walpole And Norfolk Husbandry," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 5(1), pages 86-89, 08.
  8. Cowan, Robin & Gunby, Philip, 1996. "Sprayed to Death: Path Dependence, Lock-In and Pest Control Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 521-42, May.
  9. Masaaki Kijima, 1997. "The Generalized Harmonic Mean And A Portfolio Problem With Dependent Assets," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 71-87, July.
  10. Rhode, Paul W., 1995. "Learning, Capital Accumulation, and the Transformation of California Agriculture," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 773-800, December.
  11. Timmer, C Peter, 1969. "The Turnip, the New Husbandry, and the English Agricultural Revolution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 375-95, August.
  12. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  13. Alban Thomas, 2003. "A dynamic model of on-farm integrated nitrogen management," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 439-460, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Aude RIDIER & Karim Chaib & Caroline Roussy, 2012. "The adoption of innovative cropping systems under price and production risks: a dynamic model of crop rotation choice," Working Papers 170109, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  2. Feng, Hongli & Rubin, Ofir D. & Babcock, Bruce A., 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Ethanol from Iowa Corn: Life Cycle Analysis versus System-wide Accounting," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6503, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Raja Chakir & Julien Hardelin, 2010. "Crop Insurance and Pesticides in French agriculture: an empirical analysis of multiple risks management," Working Papers hal-00753733, HAL.
  4. Xiaodong Du & David A. Hennessy & Cindy L. Yu, 2012. "Testing Day's Conjecture that More Nitrogen Decreases Crop Yield Skewness," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(1), pages 225-237.
  5. Renwick, Alan W. & Revoredo-Giha, Cesar & Topp, Kairsty, 2007. "Modelling the Adoption of Crop Rotation Practices in Organic Mixed Farms," Working Papers 109390, Scotland's Rural College (formerly Scottish Agricultural College), Land Economy & Environment Research Group.
  6. Miao, Ruiqing & Hennessy, David A. & Feng, Hongli, 2013. "Native Grassland Conversion: the Roles of Risk Intervention and Switching Costs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149865, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Feng, Hongli & Babcock, Bruce A., 2008. "Impacts of Ethanol on Planted Acreage in Market Equilibrium," Staff General Research Papers 12959, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Boyer, Christopher N. & Larson, James A. & Roberts, Roland K. & McClure, Angela T. & Tyler, Donald D. & Zhou, Vivian, 2013. "Stochastic Corn Yield Response Functions to Nitrogen for Corn after Corn, Corn after Cotton, and Corn after Soybeans," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 45(04), November.
  9. Feng, Hongli & Rubin, Ofir D. & Babcock, Bruce A., 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Ethanol from Iowa Corn," Lifecycle Carbon Footprint of Biofuels Workshop, January 29, 2008, Miami Beach, Florida 49101, Farm Foundation.
  10. Livingston, Michael J. & Roberts, Michael J. & Rust, John, 2008. "Optimal Corn and Soybean Rotations," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6213, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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