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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Economic Analysis of Integrated Farming Systems That Enhance Soybean Productivity on Marginal Lands under Climate Change

Location: Soil Drainage Research

Project Number: 5080-13000-010-24
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 01, 2011
End Date: Dec 31, 2013

Objective:
To analyze the cost and benefits of integrated farming systems which include no-tillage, cover crop, crop rotation, and gypsum soil amendment that enhance soybean productivity on marginal lands under climate change.

Approach:
All inputs, operating costs, crop yields, nutrient removal, heavy metal impact, GHG emissions, soil quality improvement, and soil C sequestration rates will be recorded. Economic analyses of farm level profitability and environmental impacts for each of the studied systems will be conducted based on these experimental results. Harvested marketable units will be valued at their net farm (farm gate) price. Variable inputs will be measured and valued at their market or opportunity prices. Transportation costs will be included for inputs purchased from the market. Opportunity cost concepts will be used to value inputs not purchased from the market. Land will be valued at the cash rental rate in local markets and labor will be valued at a rate consistent with local labor markets. Fixed costs of machinery and equipment are difficult to evaluate in experimental situations, as equipment used for plot work may not be sized optimally or represent machinery used by practicing farmers. An appropriate set of equipment will be identified for a representative farm size and priced using new or used equipment market values. Annual use values (depreciation and interest on investment) will then be calculated. Fixed costs of each equipment item will be allocated among enterprises based on the proportion of total machine use by each enterprise. Economic and ecosystem services analyses will be conducted as described by Vadas et al. (2008).

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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