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Probability Distributions of Field Crop Yields


  • Richard H. Day


After first establishing an "a priori" expectation of nonnormality, the paper presents statistical analyses of several experimental series of field crop yields. This clinical examination suggests the following plausible inferences: The several series may be regarded as more or less random samples from stable parent probability distributions. Both normality and lognormality appear to be exceptions rather than the rule with respect to those distributions that may properly be inferred from the stochastic properties of the several series. The Pearson system of probability density functions is then applied to the data. The sample moments imply the type I (generalized Beta) skewed function of limited range as the general case. Estimates of this function are obtained for each series. The degree of skewness and kurtosis is shown to depend on nitrogen level. Implications for farm planning are discussed. Each statistical technique used is described and critically reviewed.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard H. Day, 1965. "Probability Distributions of Field Crop Yields," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 47(3), pages 713-741.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:47:y:1965:i:3:p:713-741.

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    1. Theodoros Skevas & Teresa Serra, 2016. "The role of pest pressure in technical and environmental inefficiency analysis of Dutch arable farms: an event-specific data envelopment approach," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 139-153, December.
    2. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:71:y:2017:i:4:a:27375 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jesse B. Tack & David Ubilava, 2015. "Climate and agricultural risk: measuring the effect of ENSO on U.S. crop insurance," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(2), pages 245-257, March.
    4. Turvey, Calum & Zhao, Jinhua, 1999. "Parametric And Non- Parametric Crop Yield Distributions and Their Effects on All-Risk Crop Insurance Premiums," Working Papers 244742, University of Guelph, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    5. Ayenew, Habtamu Yesigat & Sauer, Johannes & Abate-Kassa, Getachew, 2016. "Cost of Risk Exposure, Farm Disinvestment and Adaptation to Climate Uncertainties: The Case of Arable Farms in the EU," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235595, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Pinckney, Thomas C., 1988. "Storage, trade, and price policy under production instability: maize in Kenya," Research reports 71, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Serra, Teresa & Oude Lansink, Alfons, 2014. "Measuring the impacts of production risk on technical efficiency: A state-contingent conditional order-m approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 239(1), pages 237-242.
    8. Agarwal, Sandip Kumar, 2017. "Subjective beliefs and decision making under uncertainty in the field," ISU General Staff Papers 201701010800006248, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Sengupta, Sanchita, 2010. "Three Essays in Environmental and Agricultural Issues," ISU General Staff Papers 201001010800002848, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Zhu, Jessica, 2018. "Understanding the Rationale of Heterogeneous Farmers' Agricultural Technology Adoption Decisions," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274233, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Chen, Shu-Ling & Miranda, Mario J., 2006. "Modeling Yield Distribution In High Risk Counties: Application To Texas Upland Cotton," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21392, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    12. Schoney, R. A., 1990. "An Analysis of Wheat Supply Response Under Risk and Uncertainty," Working Papers 244030, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
    13. Antti Saastamoinen, 2015. "Heteroscedasticity Or Production Risk? A Synthetic View," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 459-478, July.
    14. Zeytoon Nejad Moosavian, Seyyed Ali & Goodwin, Barry K., 2018. "GENERALIZING THE GENERAL: Generalizing the CES Production Function to Allow for the Flexibility of Input-Driven Output Risk and Viability of Input Thresholds," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274352, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    15. Berck, Peter, 1980. "Portfolio Theory and the Demand for Futures: theory and the case of California cotton," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt58j4t4qp, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    16. Chen, Xiaomei & Wang, H. Holly & Makus, Larry D., 2007. "Production Risk and Crop Insurance Effectiveness: Organic Versus Conventional Apples," SCC-76 Meeting, 2007, March 15-17, Gulf Shores, Alabama 9381, SCC-76: Economics and Management of Risk in Agriculture and Natural Resources.
    17. Just, Richard & Pope, Rulon, 1976. "On the Relationship of Input Decisions and Risk," CUDARE Working Papers 198209, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    18. Agarwal, Sandip & Jacobs, Keri L. & Weninger, Quinn, 2016. "Unfolding the Bias in Farm Nitrogen Management," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 237380, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. Woodard, Joshua D. & Chiu Verteramo, Leslie & Miller, Alyssa P., 2015. "Adaptation of U.S. Agricultural Production to Drought and Climate Change," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205903, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. Geigel, Joanne M. & Sundquist, W. Burt, 1984. "A Review And Evaluation Of Weather-Crop Yield Models," Staff Papers 13699, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    21. Christopher N. Boyer & B. Wade Brorsen & Emmanuel Tumusiime, 2015. "Modeling skewness with the linear stochastic plateau model to determine optimal nitrogen rates," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(1), pages 1-10, January.
    22. Fung, Man-Hoi, 1999. "Marketing specialty corn contracts under uncertainty in Iowa," ISU General Staff Papers 1999010108000017643, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    23. repec:ags:earnsa:266488 is not listed on IDEAS

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