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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research

Title: Farm-level economic impact of no-till farming in western Oklahoma)

item Osei, Edward
item Moriasi, Daniel
item Steiner, Jean
item Starks, Patrick - Pat
item Saleh, Ali

Submitted to: International Soil and Water Conservation Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2010
Publication Date: 7/19/2010
Citation: Osei, E., Moriasi, D.N., Steiner, J.L., Starks, P.J., Saleh, A. 2010. Farm-level economic impact of no-till farming in western Oklahoma [abstract]. International Soil and Water Conservation Conference, July 18-21, 2010, St. Louis, MO. Abstract No. 40. Avaliable on-line:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: No-till has been shown to improve soil conditions and water quality, as compared to conventional tillage methods. However, studies of the relative economic impacts of no-till farming have generally been inconclusive. To help farmers make informed decisions about tillage alternatives, information about the farm-level economic impacts of tillage alternatives, is needed. Farm survey data from the Fort Cobb Reservoir watershed (FCRW) in southwestern Oklahoma was used to evaluate economic impacts of no-till farming as compared to current practices. The Farm-level Economic Model (FEM), an annual economic simulation model, was used to simulate the impacts of the alternative tillage practices on farm profits under various diesel price and winter wheat yield scenarios. The results indicate that if wheat yields remain unchanged when farmers switch to no-till, no-till would be more profitable than conventional tillage or the current mix of tillage practices in the watershed. Only if wheat yields decline significantly (10% or greater), would no-till be less profitable than conventional tillage or the status quo, even at reasonably high fuel prices. No-till also performs better relative to other tillage practices as fuel prices increase. For each $1/gallon increase in the price of diesel fuel, no-till farm profits improve by roughly $1/acre relative to conventional tillage. In general, if farmers switching to no-till manage their operations carefully and maintain crop yields, they are likely to come out ahead financially.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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