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Sunday, January 21, 2018

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8804. Painter, K.M.. 1990. Does sustainable farming pay: a case study.. paper presented at Amer. Agr. Econ. Assoc. meetings, Vancouver, B.C., Aug. 4-8, 1990.
A wheat farm in eastern WA using green manure, minimal pesticide, and no commercial fertilizer for over 75 years, earned net returns averaging 25% lower than a typical conventional rotation for the area. Planting Austrian winter peas and grass cost $58 and $65 an acre, respectively, compared to $27 an acre for summer fallow. Fertilizer savings of $23 an acre were largely offset by these additional expenses. The choice of dry peas in the system results in fairly high chemical cost. When market prices were low, returns for the Lambert farm were 5% higher than for a conventional system, without support payments. The conventional system was some 30% more profitable with high prices, with or without support payments. Government payments increased net returns considerably more on the conventional farm, supporting the argument that programs encourage conventional high input systems. This study demonstrates that environmental and economic sustainability are not necessarily compatible.

10455. Young, D.L. and K.M. Painter. 1990. Farm program impacts on incentives for green manure rotations.. Amer. J. Alter. Agric. 5:99-105.
This study examines the acreage reduction program (ARP) and the deficiency payment effects of the 1985 Farm Bill on the relative profitability of a low-input rotation and a grain-intensive conventional rotation in Washington state over 1986-1990. In years of low deficiency payments or high foregone returns for ARP land, the low-input green manure rotation was competitive with the conventional rotation but lost its advantage in years of low ARP costs or high deficiency payments. Long-run incentives to maintain wheat base introduced a consistent bias against the low-input green manure rotation. This study's findings strongly support strengthening base flexibility in future farm policy legislation. It is crucial, however, that these proposals include soil building green manure crops that can be grown on "flexible" base acres on ARP acres.

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