PR – Potential Profitability Of Strip Intercropping With Corn And Soybeans
Strip intercropping, the planting narrow strips of different crops side by side in the same field, can generate greater crop yields and total revenue than planting the equivalent number of acres in large, monoculture fields. Although experimental data have shown yield advantages are possible, few studies have considered the cost implications of intercropping implementation. We develop a systematic comparison of the relative net revenue differences for a large-scale (2,157 hectare) corn-soybean operation under conventional and strip intercropping production practices. Results suggest that because the yield premiums for strip intercropped corn were relatively larger than the yield penalty for soybeans, the intercropping practice generated more revenue per unit land than the same crops grown in monoculture within the field. When costs of machine ownership and operation were incorporated into the analyses, the total wage bill estimate was nearly double for strip intercropping, and machinery ownership costs were 90% higher with strip intercropping. A key conclusion is that strip intercropping would lead to net revenue improvements over a conventional production system only for high base prices for crops and for normal moisture conditions with the most favorable result occurring when corn has the highest relative price, wages are lowest and fuel is most expensive.
Keywords: strip intercropping, Partial Budget Analysis, farm management, cultivation practices