Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

W.P. Ranney

Committee Members

S.W. Atkins, T.J. Whatley


The general objective of this study was to aid the farmer in choosing the harvesting alternative that would yield the greatest net return for his cotton enterprise. This involved obtaining more knowledge about mechanical cotton harvesting practices followed by Tennessee cotton farmers and determination of improved methods they might economically adopt. More specifically the objectives of these thesis were:

1. To estimate the difference between the quality and value of cotton harvested by machine as compared to that picked by hand.

2. To estimate the difference between the amount and value of field waste of cotton harvested by machine as compared to that harvested by hand.

3. To estimate minimum acreage and/or yield necessary to justify the purchase of different sizes of mechanical pickers.

Other factors affecting quality and field waste which were compared were variety, vegetative growth, defoliation and severe insect damage, field waste was estimated from a random sample of field plots, and grade loss was estimated by comparing actual grades of cotton harvested. Control exerted over factors affecting the comparisons is explained in Chapter III where the comparisons are made.

The cost analysis was based on budgeted rums and will be presented in Chapter IV. Information for budgeting was obtained from a random sample of 61 cotton farmers who owned and used mechanical harvesters to pick at least part of their I960 cotton crop. Selected input-output data and cost information from these schedules were used in the final analysis. These data also served as a guide for making certain assumptions necessary to complete the study.

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