Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory
Title: Net returns and risk for cover crop use as an integrated pest management practice in Alabama cotton production Authors
Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 24, 2014
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Cotton producers in Alabama are faced with uncertain yields and prices, as well as increasing weed management challenges such as glyphosate resistant weeds. By utilizing a production system that will reduce risk while maintaining yield, cotton production may be economically sustainable into the future. A conservation tillage production system with cover crops may be an economically viable alternative for cotton producers in Alabama to help control Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats), a highly aggressive, glyphosate resistant weed in the Southeastern United States. The objective of this study is to compare the economics of alternative production systems using different cover crops, such as cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) and crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), for cotton production relative to a winter fallow system to determine the preferred treatment. Data for this analysis are from a three year field experiment at E.V. Smith Research Center near Shorter, AL. Economic data are analyzed using SAS PROC GLIMMIX. A stochastic simulation model is used to generate net returns for each treatment based on simulated cotton yields for each treatment, as well as cotton price. These net returns are used in the risk analysis. Based on the published yield data (Aulakh et al.; Agronomy 2012, 2, 295-311; doi: 10.3390/agronomy2040295), we hypothesize that the use of a cover crop in cotton production will have higher gross revenues than a winter fallow system. Furthermore, the use of a cover crop and herbicide regime will reduce the risk associated with cotton production. The overall goal of this research is to show that the use of a cover crop in cotton production has the potential to be a profitable, less risky alternative to the use of winter fallow in Alabama.