Determining Costs of Conventional and Conservation Agricultural Practices
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Farmers in the Chimbo watershed face problems with soil erosion as a result of the steep slopes and mountainous terrain. In order to help address these environmental concerns and increase farmer profitability and yields, an analysis was conducted to determine the costs of production under conventional and reduced tillage methods on fava beans, beans, maize, and potato. A specific questionnaire was created for both the Illangama and Alumbre watersheds and utilized in these areas. The information provided from research performed in the Chimbo watershed indicates that only conventional tillage bean and reduced tillage bean budgets experience positive net revenue. All other budgets were indicative of net losses for farmers. The data sets all contained considerable variation alluding to the fact that research yielding more accurate measurements is necessary in the future. Additionally, the variability in price at both the farm level and commercial markets make it difficult to accurately judge the cost of production at this time for the investigated crops. By identifying the actual costs of production, research agencies will be able to better understand the constraints faced by agricultural producers within the watershed. Addressing these limitations and practices will help researchers identify factors that affect crop yields, in an effort to improve farmer profits and soil health.