Cost of Conventional Tillage and No-till Continuous Wheat Production for Four Farm Sizes


ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to determine production costs for both conventional tillage and no-till for continuous monoculture wheat production in the southern Great Plains. The reduction in the price of glyphosate after the original patent expired has improved the relative economics of no-till for continuous winter wheat. However, if differences in the opportunity cost of labor are ignored, for some farm sizes, total operating plus machinery fixed costs are greater for the no-till system.

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    ABSTRACT: Costs and net returns for conventional tillage (CT), reduced- tillage (RT) and no-tillage (NT) are evaluated for five cropping systems: continuous soybean, a soybean-grain sorghum rotation, a soybean-wheat rotation, continuous grain sorghum and continuous wheat, over a period of increasing input and output prices, 2006-2008. NT had the highest net return for all of the systems with soybeans each year. NT also had the lowest energy use for all systems. The net returns of NT increased relative to CT and RT from 2006 to 2008 for all of the systems with soybeans. However, this increase in net returns was a result of increasing commodity prices rather than a slower increase in costs for NT. Jeffery R. Williams is Professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University. He received his B.S. degree in Environmental Resource Management from The Pennsylvania State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University. He teaches courses in natural resource and environmental economics, agribusiness risk management, and advanced farm economics. His research interests include natural resource and agricultural policy impacts on farm management strategies.
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    ABSTRACT: The most economical tillage system depends upon a number of factors, and the most economical system for one farm may not be the most economi- cal for an adjacent farm. In this chapter, we identify factors that may tip the scales in favor of one system over another. Prior to the implementation of the 1996 Farm Bill (Freedom to Farm Bill), the vast majority of Oklaho- ma dry-land crop acres were seeded to continuous monoculture hard red winter wheat. In 1975, more than 96 percent of the cropland in Garfield County was seeded to winter wheat. By 1995, the propor- tion seeded to wheat, excluding land in the Con- servation Reserve Program, had increased to more than 99 percent (Oklahoma Agricultural Statistics Service, 2006). Chapter 6 Chapter 6


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