small grains, cropping systems, crop rotation, stress, profitability, Avena sativa L., Triticum aestivum L., oat, wheat
Small grains crops have traditionally been included in Midwestern cropping systems, but their use is restricted by uncertain yields, poor prices, and lack of on-farm uses in operations without livestock. We compared the corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) crop rotation to actual or simulated three-yr rotations at two sites in Iowa between 1986 and 1989. Water was generally more limiting than was nitrogen, which produced minimal response in the corn to which it was applied. April-November precipitation at Nashua, Iowa ranged from 59 to 111 % of average, while at Des Moines, Iowa it was 77% of normal in 1988 and 102% in 1989.
Each rotation was subjected to economic analysis using Iowa State University figures for costs of operations and inputs. Commodity prices were set assuming nonparticipation in the government programs of the time. The rotations that depended on hay cuttings to recoup seeding costs never achieved that goal. Oat (Avena sativa L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) harvests did largely recover the cropping expenses of the systems that included them. Thus, in certain environments no sacrifice in short-term profitability is required in trade-off for the long-term conservation and economic benefits of diversified rotations.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 2001 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Exner, Derrick N. and Cruse, R. M.
"Profitability of Crop Rotations in Iowa in a Stress Environment,"
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS: Vol. 108:
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol108/iss3/5