The Impact of Weather Extremes on Agricultural Production Methods: Does Drought Increase Adoption of Conservation Tillage Practices?

The adoption of conservation tillage practices such as ridge till, mulch till, or no-till has been shown to reduce soil erosion. An additional benefit of these conservation practices is that they also increase soil moisture. Therefore, these practices appear to be a method that agricultural producers can use to reduce their risk associated with abnormally dry or wet conditions (i.e., drought or flood). Given the large amount of money spent by the USDA on crop insurance indemnity and ad-hoc disaster relief payments, practices that reduce the risk of drought to the farmer should be strongly encouraged. Using SUR estimation with random effects, the paper uses panel data to measure the impact of extreme weather events on the adoption of conservation tillage. Panel data allows the identification of differences in adoption rates as a function of the severity of the drought or flood event. The adoption of no-till, alternative conservation tillage, and reduced till are estimated relative to conventional tillage. Both extremely dry and extremely wet conditions are found to increase the adoption of conservation tillage; while extremely wet conditions increase the adoption of both no-till and other conservation tillage practices.

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Selected Paper 171449

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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