A Dynamic Programming Approach to the Economic Control of Weed and Disease Infestations in Wheat

Weeds and fungal diseases cause significant losses to grain crops in Australia. In many cases cultural methods of control are effective. However, it is often difficult for farm decision-makers to select the optimum crop rotation, from an economic point of view, given the technical constraints they face. A decision to plant a particular crop will have implications for both current and future profitability because the current decision will alter the constraints faced by the decision-maker in subsequent periods. Dynamic programming is used to solve the rotation problem faced by grain growers in north-western New South Wales in areas where the weed, wild oats (A vena falua or A vena ludoviciana), and the disease, crown rot (Fusarium graminearum Group I), have a significant effect on wheat yields. The solutions to the dynamic programming problem suggest that in many circumstances a stable rotational pattern is appropriate. In the present case the model is solved for a set of conditions which is relevant to only a small part of the wheat-belt of New South Wales. However, the method can be applied to aid decision-making in individual cases where the user may wish to change the underlying agronomic assumptions of the model.

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Journal Article
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Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Volume 49, Number 03
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-23

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