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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Economics Advantage of An Intensive Cropping System Compared to Spring Wheat-Fallow in the Northern Great Plains. (Symposia Proc. Dynamic Cropping Systems: Principles, Processes, and Challenges, Pub. by Usda-Ars, Mandan, Nd)

Authors
item Halvorson, Ardell
item Devuyst, Eric - NDSU, FARGO, ND

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2003
Publication Date: August 4, 2003
Citation: Halvorson, A.D., Devuyst, E. 2003. Economics advantage of an intensive cropping system compared to spring wheat-fallow in the northern great plains. (symposia proc.- dynamic cropping systems: principles, processes, and challenges, pub. by usda-ars, mandan, nd). Symposium Proceedings. p. 256-261 and CD-ROM.

Interpretive Summary: More intensive dryland cropping (IC) systems tend to have higher annualized yields than those of spring wheat-fallow (SW-F) in the northern Great Plains. An economic comparison of the two cropping systems would help producers evaluate the benefits of adopting more intensive cropping systems. We evaluated the long-term (12 yr) effects of tillage system and N fertilization on the economic returns from two dryland cropping systems in North Dakota. An IC rotation (spring wheat-winter wheat-sunflower) and a SW-F rotation were compared. Tillage systems included conventional-till (CT), minimum-till (MT), and no-till (NT). Nitrogen rates were 34, 67, and 101 kg N/ha for the IC system and 0, 22, and 45 kg N/ha for the SW-F system. The IC system generated higher profits than the SW-F system, but the IC profits were more variable. Within the IC system, MT generated higher profits ($127, $145, and $152 ha-1 for 34, 67, and 101 kg N ha-1 treatments, respectively) than corresponding N-treatments under CT ($107, $120, and $126 ha-1) and NT ($97, $123, and $149 ha-1), but MT profits were more variable. Return to land and management was generally greatest at the highest N rate. Stochastic dominance results showed the IC system's MT (34, 67, and 101 kg N ha-1) and NT (67 and 101 kg N ha-1) treatments to be the most economically efficient. This economic analysis shows the annual profitability of the IC system with MT ($152 ha-1) and NT ($149 ha-1) was more profitable than the best SW-F system ($71 ha-1) using CT. These economic data indicate farmers could benefit economically by converting from a CT crop-fallow system to an IC system using reduced tillage and an adequate N fertility program.

Technical Abstract: Annualized yields with more intensive cropping (IC) systems tend to be greater than those of spring wheat-fallow (SW-F), however, little economic comparison information is available. The long-term (12 yr) effects of tillage system and N fertilization on the economic returns from two dryland cropping systems in North Dakota were evaluated. The economic returns from an IC rotation [spring wheat-winter wheat-sunflower] and a SW-F rotation were compared. Tillage systems included conventional-till (CT), minimum-till (MT), and no-till (NT). Nitrogen rates were 34, 67, and 101 kg N ha-1 for the IC system and 0, 22, and 45 kg N ha-1 for the SW-F system. The IC system generated higher profits than the SW-F system, but the IC profits were more variable. Within the IC system, MT generated higher profits ($127, $145, and $152 ha-1 for 34, 67, and 101 kg N ha-1 treatments, respectively) than corresponding N-treatments under CT ($107, $120, and $126 ha-1) and NT ($97, $123, and $149 ha-1), but MT profits were more variable. Return to land and management was generally greatest at the highest N rate. First and 2nd order stochastic dominance results showed the IC system's MT (34, 67, and 101 kg N ha-1) and NT (67 and 101 kg N ha-1) treatments to be the most economically efficient. This economic analysis shows the annual profitability of the IC system with MT ($152 ha-1) and NT ($149 ha-1) was more profitable than the best SW-F system ($71 ha-1) using CT. These economic data indicate farmers could benefit economically by converting from a CT crop-fallow system to an IC system using reduced tillage and an adequate N fertility program.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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