Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics, August 2, 2017,


Copyright 2017 University of Nebraska.


Nebraska is a diverse state with a wide range of farm production environments including irrigated and rain-fed systems. With this diversity, crop rotation has become a big factor. Recent work at Stanford University, published in the March issue of the Agronomy Journals, is a whole series of various corn/soybean rotational effects and yield penalties across the U. S. Corn Belt. (Refer to references below) This information is leveraged by University of Nebraska-Lincoln to simulate historical economic relevance for producers in their state. Historical annual corn and soybean yields for 6 of the 8 United States Department of Agriculture - National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS) crop reporting districts (CRD's) in Nebraska (20, 30, 50, 60, 80, 90) were studied and found to have varying economic outcomes by crop rotation type. You will notice from Figure 1 that 10 and 70 are not used due to the lack of soybeans grown in these areas. Four different rotations are compared economically over the historical 2006 to 2016 period. Two corn/soybean rotations are compared to both continuous cropping of either corn or soybean. The four rotations are identified here as: continuous corn (R1), continuous soybean (R2), two consecutive seasons of corn followed by a single season of soybean (R3), and the traditional annual switching of corn and soybean (R4), Each rotation used a series of historical yields, prices and costs randomly drawn from the 2006 to 2016 cropping seasons. For simplicity, each year's production was marketed at that year's December average price.