Year of Publication

2020

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Jordan Shockley

Abstract

This thesis is comprised of two essays regarding the costs and impact of land values due to cover crops. This first essay uses a linear-programming resource allocation model combined with sequencing and machinery selection to optimize the practices and machinery utilization of a hypothetical western Kentucky grain farm. This was accomplished through maximizing returns over selected costs at various acreage adoption levels. Additionally, a decision tool was developed to assess the costs related to cover crop adoption. The results show a $30 per acre cost to adopt 1000 acres of cover crops when no benefits were considered. The second essay addresses the potential benefits of cover crops by using a hedonic model to estimate the drivers of Kentucky land values. Variables related to soil, location, year, and farm characteristics were analyzed for effect on per acre price. The model results suggest that farmland values are driven significantly by soil characteristics and production potential. A 1.25% increase was found in price per acre when one unit was increased in the national commodity crop productivity index (NCCPI). Furthermore, the model suggests the potential for cover crop benefits related to decreases in soil erosion.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2020.067

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