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On Monoculture and the Structure of Crop Rotations

While rotation strategies are important in determining agricultural commodity supply and environmental benefits from land use, little has been said about the economics of crop rotation. An issue when seeking to identify rotation dominance is whether yield and input-saving carry-over effects persist for one or more years. Focusing on length of carry-over, expected profit maximization, and the monoculture decision, this paper develops principles concerning choice of rotation structure. For some rules that we develop, rotations may be discarded without reference to price levels while other rules require price data. We also show how risk aversion in the presence of price uncertainty can alter preferences over rotations. A further consideration in rotation choice is the allocation of time. The problem of crop choice to manage time commitments through the crop year is formally similar to that of crop choice to manage profit risk.

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Paper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 04-wp369.

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Date of creation: Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:04-wp369
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  1. Timmer, C Peter, 1969. "The Turnip, the New Husbandry, and the English Agricultural Revolution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 375-95, August.
  2. J. H. Plumb, 1952. "Sir Robert Walpole And Norfolk Husbandry," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 5(1), pages 86-89, 08.
  3. Wu, JunJie & Adams, Richard M. & Kling, Catherine L. & Tanaka, Katsuya, 2004. "From Microlevel Decisions to Landscape Changes: An Assessment of Agricultural Conservation Policies," Staff General Research Papers 12519, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Alban Thomas, 2003. "A dynamic model of on-farm integrated nitrogen management," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 439-460, December.
  5. P. F. Brandon, 1972. "Cereal Yields on the Sussex Estates of Battle Abbey during the Later Middle Ages," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 25(3), pages 403-420, 08.
  6. Sokoloff, Kenneth L. & Dollar, David, 1997. "Agricultural Seasonalily and the Organization of Manufacturing in Early Industrial Economies: The Contrast Between England and the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(02), pages 288-321, June.
  7. Whatley, Warren C., 1987. "Southern Agrarian Labor Contracts as Impediments to Cotton Mechanization," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 45-70, March.
  8. Cowan, Robin & Gunby, Philip, 1996. "Sprayed to Death: Path Dependence, Lock-In and Pest Control Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 521-42, May.
  9. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  10. Rhode, Paul W., 1995. "Learning, Capital Accumulation, and the Transformation of California Agriculture," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 773-800, December.
  11. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1993. " Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1629-58, December.
  12. Newell, William H., 1973. "The Agricultural Revolution in Nineteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 697-731, December.
  13. Masaaki Kijima, 1997. "The Generalized Harmonic Mean And A Portfolio Problem With Dependent Assets," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 71-87, July.
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