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Economic Analysis Approaches To Potato-Based Integrated Crop Systems: Issues And Method

Listed author(s):
  • Labarta, Ricardo A.
  • Swinton, Scott M.
  • Black, J. Roy
  • Snapp, Siglinde
  • Leep, Richard

In response to stagnating yields and mounting pest problems, Michigan potato growers are investigating ways to bring manure and cover crops back into potato production systems. The alternative systems bring benefits and costs for monetary net returns, the variability of net returns, and environmental impacts. This paper reviews the likely yield and biological system effects of alternative potato production systems that incorporate manure and cover crops. After briefly considering research designs for gathering experimental versus farm field data, it reviews four economic analysis methods for evaluating alternative systems. All methods are illustrated with examples. First, for evaluating comparative average profitability, it reviews a) enterprise budgets, b) partial budgets, and c) break-even analysis. Second, for integrating environmental impacts into profitability analysis by using monetary measures of environmental effects, it introduces "green" budgets. Third, for evaluating efficiency trade-offs between profitability and environmental impacts, it covers trade-off frontiers. Finally, for comparing the variability of returns across systems (including for risk-averse decision makers), it introduces analysis of variance and stochastic dominance. These methods provide a basic set of tools for the economic analysis of changes in potato-based crop systems that should be adequate for most static comparisons of annual crop management practices.

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Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 11677.

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Date of creation: 2002
Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:11677
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Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039

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  1. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Schwab, Gerald & Harwood, Richard R. & Christenson, Donald & Bricker, Calvin, 1998. "A Stochastic Dominance Analysis Of Alternative Sugar Beet- And Navy Bean- Based Crop Rotations In Michigan," Staff Papers 11509, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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