Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Planted acreage of cotton in Louisiana has decreased over the past several years due to higher cotton variable production costs, stagnant cotton market prices, and higher grain yields and market prices for corn and soybeans. The general objective was to determine the economic impact of the adoption and use of an onboard module building cotton harvest system on the ability of the cotton enterprise to compete for planted acreage in the mixed crop farming areas of Louisiana. Specific research objectives included the estimated of comparative ownership and operating costs for the module building harvest systems relative to existing basket/module builder harvest systems, and to evaluate the impact of the use of the new cotton harvest system on expected levels of crop rotation net returns. SERF analysis was utilized to evaluate the impact of risk preferences on the crop rotation decision. The total cotton system harvest cost for a 6-row module picker was estimated to be $51 per harvested acre, compared to $77 per acre for a 6-row basket harvest system and $149 per acre for a 4-row basket harvest system. Two levels of mean crop yields were evaluated: average yield history in the region (cotton – 1,150 lbs./acre, corn – 154 bu./acre, soybeans – 44 bu./acre), and recently observed higher yields for cotton and corn (cotton – 1,380 lbs./acre, corn – 176 bu./acre). Results indicated that cotton/corn rotations generally had higher expected net returns above variable costs over cotton/soybean and corn/soybean rotations under the price, yield and cost assumptions of the study. Risk efficiency evaluation of crop rotation alternatives indicated that the cotton/corn rotations were generally more dominate than the cotton/soybean rotations, due primarily to the higher level of expected net returns from corn production compared to expected net returns from soybean production. The risk analysis along with the net return simulation analysis conducted confirmed the continuing importance of the levels of expected crop market prices and yields in determining optimal crop rotation choices.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Salassi, Michael E.