Charles A. Francis
Date of this Version
Hoagland, L.A. 2002. "Analysis of Integrated Farming Systems in Eastern Nebraska" (M.S. Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln) pp. 171.
Agroecosystems in the U.S. are beset with social, ecological and environmental problems as large industrial farming methods are edging out small family-sized farms and replacing ecological services provided by biodiversity with synthetic inputs and practices. While many of the benefits of smaller diversified or integrated farming systems are well known, farm producers need a concrete model that shows how integration is possible and with what crops. The objective of this study was to investigate some of these supplemental farm activities, and identify and evaluate whether they were compatible given the time and resource constraints of a typical eastern Nebraska farm. These activities included stalk grazing, cabbage, and herbaceous floral perennial production. Detailed enterprise budgets of the alternative cropping systems were entered into a linear programming model to determine the optimal acreage allocation given the various alternatives to maximize net returns. The compatible operations increased producer profitability while theoretically making use of synergistic relationships to decrease reliance and application of off-farm inputs, thus improving 'sustainability'.
Advisors: James Brandle and Chuck Francis