The Impact Of Conservation Tillage On The Productivity And Stability Of Maize Cropping Systems: A Case Study In Western Mexico
This paper examines the economics of introducing conservation tillage into maize cropping systems in the state of Jalisco, in the western part of Mexico. A stochastic cost-benefit analysis (SCBA) of introducing conservation tillage in two contrasting agro-climatic zones in the four main maize management systems in the area was carried out. The SCBA takes into account the effects of conservation tillage on average returns and fully evaluates its potential risk-reducing aspect. The SCBA results were then used for a stochastic dominance analysis to evaluate farmers' incentives, characterized by their aversion to risk. The analysis reveals that although conservation tillage is economically viable, cash-constrained farmers, especially in the dry areas, may not readily adopt it. This is because conservation tillage is not adapted to small-scale farmers in Mexico, who lack seeding equipment and need techniques that are less reliant on herbicides. It is suggested that more work should be done with the participation of farmers in the region to attain a conservation tillage system that is better adapted to their circumstances.
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