From weed to wealth? Prospects for medic pastures in the Mediterranean farming system of north-west Syria
Medic (Medicago spp.) pastures are widely grown in rotation with dryland cereal crops in Mediterranean climate zones of Australia. Attempts since the 1960's to introduce this system to Mediterranean west Asia and north Africa (the native region of medic) have not lead to significant adoption; farmers in the region recognize medic, but as a weed and natural pasture plant. This first detailed economic evaluation of the rotational medic system was conducted using a whole-farm linear programming model based on the agricultural system of north-west Syria. The model represents in detail impacts of rotation on yields, labor requirements of alternative farm activities, availability of family and hired labor, subsistence income requirements, livestock feed sources and uses at different times and a choice of sheep stocking rates. Biological data for the analysis are based on a large six-year cropping and grazing experiment near Aleppo on terra-rossa soil with rainfall mainly in winter and averaging about 330 mm annually. The trial compared a dryland medic-wheat system and traditional two-year rotations of wheat with: fallow, watermelon, lentil and vetch. Results indicate that, given current prices and yields from the trial, medic is less profitable than traditional rotations. The model was used to investigate situations in which medic would be economically preferred. Selection of a medic rotation by the model was found to be particularly sensitive to the area of the farm and the price of labor. On small farms, labor availability per hectare is high, favouring the production of labor intensive crops such as lentil and watermelon. On larger farms, labor costs of these enterprises are substantial, increasing the relative profitability of medic, especially if labor prices increase. Interestingly, the relative desirability of medic is more sensitive to its impact on subsequent wheat crops than to the level of pasture production. We also found that modest increases in the prices o
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pannell, D. J. & Falconer, D. A., 1988. "The relative contributions to profit of fixed and applied nitrogen in a crop-livestock farm systems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-17.
- Morrison, David A. & Kingwell, Ross S. & Pannell, David J. & Ewing, Michael A., 1986. "A mathematical programming model of a crop-livestock farm system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 243-268.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:11:y:1994:i:1:p:29-42. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.