Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Major Professor

Christopher Clark

Committee Members

Burton English, Christopher Boyer, Seong-Hoon Cho


To better understand the use of no-till and cover crops, this thesis utilizes a 2017 survey of row crop producer in Middle and West Tennessee to analyze producer perceptions and awareness of the likelihood of possible outcomes occurring from using no-till and cover crops. Respondents believed the most likely outcomes of using no-till and cover crops to occur were reducing soil erosion, followed by improving soil quality/health and water quality. However, they believed reducing yield variability, controlling weeds, and increasing yield were less likely to be a result of using no-till. They also believed that increasing profit, increasing yield, and reducing yield variability were unlikely to occur from using cover crops. On average, no-till users and cover crop users were more confident of the effects of using the practices than non-users. Cover crop users were more likely to believe the effects of using cover crops than abandoners. In addition, this study also uses the data to analyze whether and how producer demographics, experience in farming, and farm characteristics are correlated with their opinions of the possible outcomes of the practices. Education and both knowing about and having received a cost-share payment for cover crops were the factors that commonly influenced farmer perceptions of the effects of using no-till and cover crops, respectively.On the other hand, since the adoption rate of cover crops was relatively low in Middle and West Tennessee, the same survey data are used to analyze the correlation between the use of cover crops and producer demographics, experience in farming, and farm characteristics. The result shows that having crop insurance and planting cotton were significantly and positively correlated with the use of cover crops in 2016.

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