An economic analysis of alternative cropping and row spacing systems for soybean production

Caleb A. Oriade, Carl R. Dillon, E. D. Vories, M. E. Bohanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Conflicting results have been reported in the literature concerning the effects of narrow row spacings on soybean [Glycine max (L). Merr.] production in the southern USA. The objective of this study was to revisit the issue by evaluating some economic implications of alternative row spacing arrangements on soybean performance under both irrigated and nonirrigated conditions. Data from 3-yr continuous soybean experiments conducted at the Northeast Research and Extension Center, Keiser, AR, between 1990 and 1992 were used for this purpose. Enterprise budgeting was employed to determine the nature of costs and returns associated with alternative production systems. Simple variability and break-even analyses were used to provide preliminary insights into the probable sensitivities of alternative practices to fluctuations in production and economic environments. The results indicated that narrow row systems (usually between 10 and 20 in.) could enhance yields and net returns either under nonirrigated or irrigated conditions. A yield increase of between 15 and 30% was obtained under nonirrigated conditions, while an improvement in yields ranging from 10 to 17% was obtained under irrigation. Furthermore, results from break-even analysis supported the use of narrow row systems for enhancing net returns relative to wide row arrangements under a production environment that is characterized by fluctuations in yields and output prices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-624
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Production Agriculture
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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