Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

S. Darrell Mundy

Committee Members

Robert M. Ray, Charles Pless


The primary objective of this study was the determination of the costs and returns associated with selected chemical insect pest management strategies on two crop rotations of burley tobacco. Input requirements for each strategy were obtained for each of four foliar application alternatives. A secondary objective of this study was the determination of the size (in acres) of the production unit needed to equate the average total cost of various foliar application alternatives. These alternatives includes three equipment alternatives and a custom application alternative.

The data necessary to determine the economic benefits associated with each strategy were derived from field experiments. Yield and quality data were recorded and average price per hundredweight was obtained to determine the additional gross returns for each strategy utilizing both rotations. The monitoring of the input requirements allowed the estimation of the costs of each strategy. Through the use of the partial budgeting process, additional net returns to fixed capital and management were determined.

For analytical purposes the strategies were also grouped into one of four classifications. The classifications were based on the types of equipment necessary for the implementation of the various chemical insecticide(s) required for each strategy. These included: 1) preplant, soil-incorporated insecticides requiring the use of a granular insecticide applicator, 2) post-transplant foliar-applied insecticides using foliar application equipment, 3) combinations of preplant, soil-incorporated and post-transplant, foliar-applied insecticides requiring the use of both a granular and foliar applicator, and 4) transplant solution insecticides followed by foliar application of insecticides.

The results of the first year of a three-year experiment indicate that economic benefits exist for the burley tobacco producer in the use of an insecticide pest management strategy. The additional net returns to fixed capital and management ranged from $192 per acre to $712 per acre for a crop rotation of tobacco following tobacco and $107 per acre to $967 per acre for a crop rotation of tobacco following a legume sod.

The availability of alternative foliar application methods exist for small to medium-size burley producers. The primary resource requirement can be tailored to meet the available resources of the producer. Substitutability among land, labor, and capital (both operating and fixed) allows the production manager to match his resources to the requirements of different alternatives to maximize the use of available resources or minimize the cost of hired resources.

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