Title page for ETD etd-11162010-121817


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Steer Nunes, Juan
URN etd-11162010-121817
Title Determination of the Economic Optimal Cycle Length for Major Sugarcane (Saccharum Spp.) Varieties in Louisiana
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Salassi, Michael Committee Chair
Gillespie, Jeffrey Committee Member
Harrison, Robert Committee Member
Keywords
  • sugarcane
  • cycle length
  • Louisiana
  • linear programming
  • agribusiness
Date of Defense 2010-11-02
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The general objective of the study was to determine the economically optimal crop cycle length for major sugarcane varieties currently being produced in Louisiana. The specific objectives of the project included the specification of the mathematical acreage relationships which directly impact the production of a vegetatively propagated perennial crop in a whole farm context; the development of producer decision rules to be used to determine breakeven sugar levels on third stubble sugarcane crops for major varieties in the state; the evaluation of the impact of changes in production factors on developed crop replacement rules; and the optimal cycle length for current variety combinations in a whole farm context. Third stubble breakeven yield results indicate that on average, third stubble should be kept in production if its production exceeds 5,063 pounds of sugar per acre. If sugar per acre yields of plantcane, first stubble and second stubble were averaged, third stubble should be kept only if its production exceeds 74.3% of that average. Results of changes in production factors such as raw sugar price, diesel price, planting ratio and harvest costs indicated that this 74.3% was not significantly affected when the changes were analyzed in a whole farm context.

A maximum net return goal of $147,198 was achieved using variety HoCP 00-950 as the only variety planted in the whole operation, when there were no acre limitations on individual variety. Another scenario where no single variety should exceed 50% of the total planted area of the farm was developed and results showed that a maximum net returns goal of $145,154 was achieved by planting 500 acres of variety L 99-266 and 500 acres of variety HoCP 00-950. Finally, a third scenario where no single variety should exceed 30% of the total planted area was developed and results showed that a maximum net returns goal of $129,104 was achieved by planting 100, 300, 300 and 300 acres of varieties HoCP 96-541, L 99-226, L 99-233 and HoCP 00-950, respectively. For all scenarios, results showed that production should be kept until third stubble; therefore, the crop cycle length should be five years.

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