Sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.) and navy beans (Phaseoulus vulgaris L.) have been important target crops in the crop rotation systems of many Michigan growers, particularly in the Saginaw Valley and the Thumb region. The recent decline in sugar beet yields combined with the erratic navy bean yields have led to concern about the optimal crop rotation for the East Central region in Michigan. Risk is an important consideration in a farmer's choice of cropping systems. This study uses 20 years of experimental data from the Michigan State University Saginaw Valley Research Farm to determine the risk efficiency of alternative sugar beet- and navy bean- based crop rotations that included corn (Zea mays L.), oats (Avena sativa L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) as rotational crops. The crop rotations differed in rotation length and crop sequence. Stochastic dominance analysis showed that the two-year rotation of sugar beets followed by navy beans was first-degree stochastic (FSD) and second-degree dominant (SSD) over 11 other crop rotation alternatives. Crop rotations that included sugar beets in two-year rotations and both sugar beets and navy beans in three-year rotations were the next stochastic dominant systems. Keywords: crop rotation, cropping system, risk, stochastic dominance analysis, first-degree stochastic dominance, second-degree stochastic dominance.


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