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Abstract

This study applies portfolio theory to rice varietal selection decisions to find profit maximizing and risk minimizing outcomes. Results based on data from six counties in the Arkansas Delta for the period 1999–2006 suggest that sowing a portfolio of rice varieties could have increased profits from 3 to 26% (depending on the location) for rice producers in the Arkansas Delta. The major implication of this research is that data and statistical tools are available for rice producers to improve the choice of rice varieties to plant each year in specific locations. Specifically, there are large potential gains from combining varieties that are characterized by inverse yield responses to growing conditions such as drought, pest infestation, or the presence of a specific disease.

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