Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Luther Keller, Donald Howard, Cecil E. Carter Jr


Sixty randomly selected cotton producers in Limestone County were interviewed in 1971 for the purposes of (1) characterizing those in different cotton yield groups, (2) determining which practices were being used by those in different yield groups, and (3) identifying some of the factors influencing the farmers to use or not to use the 12 practices studied. Cotton producers represented four yield cate-gories based on pounds of lint cotton produced per acre in 1969-1970 and main comparisons were made between highest and lowest groups. Findings disclosed that the 60 cotton producers in the county in 1970 had the following characteristics: (1) had an average farm size of 637 acres, and (2) had an average of 429 acres of cropland. Most cotton producers were full-time farmers with cotton as their major source of income. When highest and lowest yield groups were compared, it was noted that the latter had (1) a higher average educational level (11.1 vs 10.4 grades), (2) a smaller average size of farm (406 vs. 1,025 acres), (3) fewer average acres of cropland (260 vs. 675 acres), (4) a smaller cotton allotment (70.0 vs. 241.6 acres), (5) planted fewer acres of cotton (69.3 vs. 241.6), and (6) harvested less average acres of cotton mechanically (69.3 vs. 241.6 acres). With regard to adoption of 12 recommended cotton production practices studied, farmers in the highest yield group had the highest total average practice diffusion rating. There also appeared to be a positive relation between yield and management levels since higher production groups tended to have higher total average practice dif-fusion ratings than lower yield groups. Some other factors reportedly influencing cotton practice adoption included, in order of importance: (1) income received per acre; (2) adequacy of machinery and equipment; (3) amount of technical knowledge of the operator; (4) relative cost of the practices and benefits received; and (5) seriousness of land preparation, planting and harvesting problems peculiar to cotton. With regard to individual sources of cotton production and marketing advice reported by crop producers, they included neighbors or friends. Extension workers, seed, fertilizer or pesticide dealers and cotton ginners, in that order. Additional mass media sources of information most frequently mentioned were daily newspaper, farm magazines, news letters, television and radio. Suggestions were made for use of the findings and for further research.

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