The effect of producers' risk attitudes on sizing the harvest and on-farm drying system

Todd D. Davis, George F. Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simulation model of an on-farm grain harvest and drying system was used to determine net returns associated with alternative sized systems. The physical processes of corn and soybean planting, growth, harvest and drying were simulated under historical weather conditions for 33 years. Weather data determined the number of field days, physiological maturity date, harvest grain moisture, yield losses and dryer energy costs. Guidelines developed by agricultural engineers and agricultural economists were used to initially size the combine and dryer for three sizes of farms. Capacities of the combine and dryer were increased and decreased by 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50%, independently. Net returns to labor and management, reflecting yield and price correlations, were determined for each of the equipment combinations. Stochastic dominance was used to evaluate the distributions of net revenue and determine the risk efficient combine and dryer sets. It was found that there were small differences in net returns for systems that completed harvest and drying in the 27 to 32 day range for all three farm sizes. For a given size of farm, risk averse producers were found to prefer smaller capacity combines and dryers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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