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This study explores the relationship between family/farm characteristics and the probability of exiting burley tobacco farming in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. Following the termination of the federal tobacco program in 2004, 54% of burley tobacco-growing households in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. exited burley tobacco farming by 2006. Tobacco yield, tobacco farm cash receipts, tobacco price, off-farm employment, and farm size are the most dominant variables discriminating between exiting and surviving tobacco farms. Data for this study came from a mail survey of burley tobacco producers in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina in May 2006.
Many areas of the US recently endured a severe drought and management strategies to cope with the lack of forage production varied. A multi-period mathematical model is presented that estimates the outcomes of two common producer responses to changes in precipitation, partial liquidation and purchasing hay, given fluctuating cattle prices over a long term planning horizon. Results were further summarized with regression analysis and selected elasticities were calculated to reflect the sensitivity of outcomes to variability in precipitation and livestock prices. Although little impact was seen from utilizing additional hay as a strategy during drought, producers who follow this strategy are in a position to market more animals immediately post drought in general, resulting in better long run financial outcomes. Elasticity estimates suggest that profitability is more sensitive to variability in prices but that optimal choices of management strategies are more sensitive to variability in precipitation.
Personal digital assistants (PDA) and handheld global positioning systems (GPS) have become increasingly important in cotton production but little is known about their use. This research analyzed the adoption of PDA/handheld GPS devices in cotton production. A younger farmer who used a computer in farm management and had a positive perception of Extension had a greater likelihood of adopting the devices. In addition, farmers who used complementary remote sensing, plant mapping, and grid soil sampling information were more likely to use PDA/handheld GPS devices. Finally, the COTMAN in-field decision support program from Extension also positively impacted adoption.
The paper examines the joint adoption of conservation tillage, crop rotations, and soil testing by small and limited-resource farmers in the Southeast. The objectives are to determine the potential eligibility of small farmers for the Conservation Security Program, examine socioeconomic factors affecting adoption, and assess the interdependence between adopting different conservation practices. Results indicate that conservation management, ethnicity, and farm characteristics affect practice adoption. Of the producers surveyed in the study, 7% meet Conservation Security Program eligibility requirements, while the other 93% have less than a 20% likelihood of adopting the needed practices to qualify.
The U.S. farming industry is evolving quickly. It is therefore important that state Extension services be prepared to evolve as well. This study uses data collected in a 2007 survey of Ohio farmers to evaluate likelihood and frequency of use of various services offered by Extension as well as overall satisfaction with Extension services. Results indicate that tailoring of topics and communication methods to type of farm and/or farmer informational needs could improve the use of Extension resources. This implies that targeting of information products and methods may improve the performance of Extension education programs and customer satisfaction.
We develop measures of technical and allocative efficiency of producers in marketing certified organic products. A stochastic output distance frontier and the associated revenue share equations are estimated using comprehensive U.S. data on certified organic producers. Farm-level measures of technical efficiency are calculated and factors that enhance performance are identified. Factors that systematically influence allocative efficiency are assessed. The revenue mix of organic producers is systematically inefficient as both male and female producers rely too heavily on revenue from organic markets relative to conventional outlets.
The increasing use of agricultural contracts and processor concentration raises concerns that processors may offer lower contract prices in absence of local competition. This study examines the price competitiveness of marketing and production contracts depending on the availability of alternative marketing options. A propensity score matching method is used to compare prices using contract data from a farm-level national survey. The results show that the absence of other contractors or spot markets in producers' areas does not lead to statistically significant price differences in agricultural contracts for most commodities, providing evidence that most agricultural processors do not exercise market power by reducing prices when other local buyers are not available.
High natural gas prices have agricultural producers searching for alternative energy sources for irrigation. The economic feasibility of electric and hybrid (electric/wind) systems are evaluated as alternatives to natural gas powered irrigation. Texas Panhandle and Southern Kansas farms are assessed with a quarter-mile sprinkler system, three crops, and two pumping lifts. Breakeven points identify the price at which conversion from a natural gas irrigation system to an electric or hybrid system is cost effective. Results indicate electricity is a more feasible energy source for irrigation and policy changes such as net metering are necessary to make hybrid systems viable.
Energy prices increased significantly following the first energy price shock of 1973. Agricultural producers found few short run substitution possibilities as relative factor prices changed. Inelastic demands resulted in total expenditures on energy inputs that have closely followed energy price changes over time. A dynamic cost function model is estimated to derive short and long run adjustments within U.S. agriculture between 1948 and 2002 to changes in relative input prices. The objective is to measure the degree of farm responsiveness to energy price changes and if this responsiveness has changed over time. Findings support inelastic demands for all farm inputs. Statistical results support moderate increases in responses to energy and other input price changes in the 1980s. However, demands for all inputs remain inelastic in both the short and long run. Estimation of share equations associated with a dynamic cost function indicates that factor adjustment to input price changes are essentially complete within 1 year.
The distributions currently used to model and simulate crop yields are unable to accommodate a substantial subset of the theoretically feasible mean-variance-skewness-kurtosis (MVSK) hyperspace. Because these first four central moments are key determinants of shape, the available distributions might not be capable of adequately modeling all yield distributions that could be encountered in practice. This study introduces a system of distributions that can span the entire MVSK space and assesses its potential to serve as a more comprehensive parametric crop yield model, improving the breadth of distributional choices available to researchers and the likelihood of formulating proper parametric models.
Several recent papers have used annual changes and monthly data to estimate demand systems. Such use of overlapping data introduces a moving average error term. This paper shows how to obtain consistent and asymptotically efficient estimates of a demand system using seasonally differenced data. Monte Carlo simulations and an empirical application to the estimation of the U.S. meat demand are used to compare the proposed estimator with alternative estimators. Once the correct estimator is used, there is no advantage to using overlapping data in estimating a demand system.
The impacts of economic and demographic variables on the demand for food grain commodities in urban Jiangsu province of China are estimated, using both the QUAIDS and the AIDS models. Results show that the demands for wheat flour and coarse grains are price-elastic while the demands for rice and grain products are price-inelastic. Certain demographic variables show as having a significant impact on food grain demand. Finally, a decomposition of causes of changes in rice consumption over the period of 1995-2007 is performed.
In the last settler's syndrome, each new settler wants the area to remain as it was on their arrival. Newcomers' preferences often differ from long-term residents, and conflicts arise. To explore land use issues among various groups, a survey of opinions on mountain views was developed and administered to Watauga County residents in western North Carolina. Watauga County provides an interesting case study, because it is a growing area with an influx of newcomers along with long-time residents. The results suggest that agreements can be achieved on some land use issues, whereas disagreements will arise on others.
A regime-switching model for analysis of market integration has been developed that incorporates rate of trade information. An application of the methods to United States–China soybean trade demonstrates that the extended trade information allows better interpretation of market conditions. While the empirical results show that China's reform efforts since mid 1990s toward an open market have greatly improved United States–China soybean markets integration, about 40% of nontransitional disequilibrium occurrences likely indicate infrastructural limits such as the lack of information availability and limited competition. The United States–China price linkage is observed to be closer after China's World Trade Organization membership. The link has also been found relatively slack during the South American soybean harvest.