Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Pre-print version of an article published in Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 34:3 (2009), pp. 395-411.


One benefit of conservation tillage practices is an increase in soil moisture. The paper combines panel data techniques with spatial analysis to measure the impact of extreme weather events on the adoption of conservation tillage. Zellner’s SUR technique is extended to spatial panel data to correct for cross-sectional heterogeneity, spatial autocorrelation, and contemporaneous correlation. Panel data allows the identification of differences in adoption rates as a function of the severity of past drought or flood events. The adoption of no-till, alternative conservation tillage, and reduced till are estimated relative to conventional tillage. Extremely dry conditions in recent years are found to increase the adoption of both no-till and other conservation tillage practices; while extremely wet conditions (i.e., floods) do not have a significant effect on the choice of tillage practice. In addition, spring floods are found to significantly reduce the use of conservation tillage practices.