Submitted to: Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 28, 2002
Publication Date: November 1, 2002
Citation: LU, Y.C., REDDY, V. ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF PIX (MEPIQUATCHLORIDE) APPLICATION STRATEGIES. COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS IN AGRICULTURE. 2002. Interpretive Summary: One of the major problems cotton growers in the Delta States face is insect infestation and boll weathering. Such incidences are often accompanied by a late maturing cotton crop. To overcome these problems, cotton growers use pix, a plant growth regulator, to promote early crop maturity. Cotton bolls set by early August are less attractive to the tobacco budworm and tends to be less rank and leafy than a late crop, thus allowing for greater ease of defoliation. An early cotton crop often leads to a timely harvest that escapes severe boll weathering damage from late-season rainfall events. Many studies have been conducted to determine the optimum timings and rates of pix applications since it was first used commercially in California in 1981. However, most previous studies on pix applications were focused on the physiological effects such as yield, plant height, leaf area index, the maturity date, etc., and seldom compared profitability resulting from using different pix application strategies. Growers need to know more than just maximum yields. They want to know the economic consequences of each decision they make. In this study, we built an economic component and integrating it into a cotton simulation model to determine the most profitable pix application strategies. Results of economic analysis show that the largest overall expected net return across all weather scenarios was for a single application strategy of 1.17 l per ha applied 10 days after first square. These results help cotton growers make pix application decisions to maximize profitability.
Technical Abstract: This paper evaluates the profitability of using different pix application strategies in cotton production in the Mississippi Delta. The GOSSYM- COMAX simulation model was used to simulate single and multiple pix application strategies under three different weather scenarios and two soil types. An economic component was developed and integrated into the GOSSYM-COMAX simulation program to determine the economic consequences of different management decisions. The simulation results indicate that a single application strategy is superior to multiple applications. Simulated yields using single applications were consistently higher than those using multiple applications. Under the normal and hot weather scenarios, the maximum yields were attained with a single application of 1.75 l (liter) per ha applied 10 days after first square. Single application at 10 days after first square of 1.17 l per ha yielded the highest under the cold weather scenario. Our economic analysis showed that the largest net returns were obtained from a single application strategy of 1.17 l per ha under the normal and cold weather scenarios, both at 10 days after first square, and from a single application strategy at 10 days after first square of 1.75 l per ha under the hot weather scenario. The largest overall expected net return across all weather scenarios was for a single application strategy of 1.17 l per ha applied 10 days after first square. This conclusion supports findings from the simulated yields analysis because the cost differences among different strategies were relatively small.