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Enhancing Farm Profitability through Portfolio Analysis: The Case of Spatial Rice Variety Selection


  • Nalley, Lawton Lanier
  • Barkely, Andrew
  • Watkins, Brad
  • Hignight, Jeffrey A.


This study applies portfolio theory to rice varietal selection decisions to find profit maximizing and risk minimizing outcomes. Results based on data from six counties in the Arkansas Delta for the period 1999–2006 suggest that sowing a portfolio of rice varieties could have increased profits from 3 to 26% (depending on the location) for rice producers in the Arkansas Delta. The major implication of this research is that data and statistical tools are available for rice producers to improve the choice of rice varieties to plant each year in specific locations. Specifically, there are large potential gains from combining varieties that are characterized by inverse yield responses to growing conditions such as drought, pest infestation, or the presence of a specific disease.

Suggested Citation

  • Nalley, Lawton Lanier & Barkely, Andrew & Watkins, Brad & Hignight, Jeffrey A., 2009. "Enhancing Farm Profitability through Portfolio Analysis: The Case of Spatial Rice Variety Selection," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:joaaec:56650

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chavas, Jean-Paul, 1999. "On The Economic Rationality Of Market Participants: The Case Of Expectations In The U.S. Pork Market," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(01), July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Watkins, K. Bradley & Henry, Christopher G. & Mazzanti, Ralph & Schmidt, Lance & Hardke, Jarrod T., 2014. "Non-Radial Technical Efficiency of Water and Nitrogen Usage in Arkansas Rice Production," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162593, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Mortenson, Ryan & Parsons, Jay & Pendell, Dustin L. & Haley, Scott D., 2012. "Wheat Variety Selection: An Application of Portfolio Theory in Colorado," Western Economics Forum, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 11(02).
    3. Watkins, K. Bradley & Hristovska, Tatjana & Mazzanti, Ralph & Wilson, Charles E., Jr., "undated". "Measuring Technical, Allocative, and Economic Efficiency of Rice Production in Arkansas using Data Envelopment Analysis," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142962, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Bodin, P. & Olin, S. & Pugh, T.A.M. & Arneth, A., 2016. "Accounting for interannual variability in agricultural intensification: The potential of crop selection in Sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 159-168.
    5. Diersen, Matthew & Gurung, Pratik & Fausti, Scott, 2015. "Optimal Allocation of Index Insurance Intervals for Commodities," 2015 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia 196793, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

    More about this item


    optimal variety selection; portfolio analysis; rice; Agribusiness; Crop Production/Industries; Farm Management; Production Economics; Productivity Analysis; Risk and Uncertainty; G11; Q15; Q12;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets


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