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No-till technology: benefits to farmers and the environment? Theoretical analysis and application to Finnish agriculture

  • Jussi Lankoski
  • Markku Ollikainen
  • Pekka Uusitalo

We assess theoretically and empirically the private profitability and social desirability of conventional tillage and no-till when crop yields, production costs and nutrient and herbicide runoff damages are taken into account. Based on Finnish experimental data, no-till provides higher social and private profit than conventional tillage for barley but not for oats and wheat, for which the production cost advantage of no-till does not compensate for lower yields in the private optimum. As regards social returns, no-till provides slightly better overall environmental performance but, given the existing valuation of nutrient and herbicide runoff damage, this is not enough to give no-till an advantage in oats and wheat cultivation. Thus, the key factors determining the private and social profitability of no-till and conventional tillage are yields and production costs rather than environmental performance. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics in its journal European Review of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 193-221

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Handle: RePEc:oup:erevae:v:33:y:2006:i:2:p:193-221
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