Annual Net Returns to Cover Crops in Iowa

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2018
Authors
Sawadgo, Wendiam
Miguez, Fernando E.
Carlson, Sarah
Marcillo, Guillermo
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Copyright 2018 Purdue University
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Plastina, Alejandro
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Agronomy

The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

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The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

Dates of Existence
1902–present

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Abstract
Despite the active promotion of cover crops as a key conservation practice, their adoption is very limited. We developed a series of partial budgets based on a statewide survey of Iowa farmers to evaluate the changes in net returns resulting from the incorporation of cover crops into a corn or soybean production system. The average net returns to cover crop use for farmers who did not use cover crops for grazing livestock or forage were consistently negative across different planting and termination methods, tillage practices, and experience levels. Only farmers who used cover crops for grazing livestock or forage and received cost-share payments tended to derive net positive returns from cover crop use. Our results can be used as benchmarks for current or potential cover croppers and for ground-truthing agricultural and conservation policy design.
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This article is published as Plastina, Alejandro; Liu, Fangge; Sawadgo, Wendiam; Miguez, Fernando E.; Carlson, Sarah; and Marcillo, Guillermo (2018) "Annual Net Returns to Cover Crops in Iowa," Journal of Applied Farm Economics: Vol. 2 : Iss. 2, Article 2. DOI: 10.7771/2331-9151.1030. Posted with permission. Link to Economics Working Paper.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License.
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