A stochastic analysis of tractor overturn costs on catfish farms

Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box 5187, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.
Journal of agricultural safety and health 10/2012; 18(4):285-92. DOI: 10.13031/2013.42330
Source: PubMed


An area of health and safety risk in agriculture that can be especially dangerous is catfish farming. One of the potential sources of injuries on catfish farms is tractor overturns that often result in crushing injuries. There is likely a higher probability of tractor overturns on a catfish farm than on a traditional crop farm due to the conditions that prevail on catfish farms. A catfish farm requires tractor movement near pond levees and water, and these levees have steep banks. Many of the activities on a catfish farm, such as mowing, feeding, and pond maintenance, require operating a tractor near a pond levee. Rollover protection structures (ROPS) on tractors can help to minimize the injuries caused by tractor overturns. ROPS do not lessen the probability of overturns, but ROPS mitigate the expected injury severity and lower the associated costs of an overturn. Despite the benefits of ROPS, not every tractor is so equipped. Some earlier work indicated that the cost to retrofit older tractors might outweigh the expected benefits. This article uses stochastic (i.e., randomly determined) analysis to determine if risk-averse farmers are more likely than risk-neutral farmers to retrofit tractors with ROPS. For this analysis, a distribution function of injury costs should an overturn occur was developed for both ROPS and non-ROPS tractors, and a Monte Carlo simulation was conducted. Results indicate that many risk-averse producers would be willing to retrofit older tractors with ROPS. However producers who are risk-neutral probably will not retrofit. These results might explain why not all tractors have been retrofitted despite the long-term availability of retrofit kits.

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Available from: Melvin L Myers, Nov 05, 2015
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