Optimizing multiple cropping systems: Simulation studies

  • Tsai Y
  • Mishoe J
  • Jones J
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Tsai et al. (1987) developed a combined network optimization—simulation model for optimal sequencing of multiple cropping systems. Essentially, simulations were used to generate a deterministic activity network. Then an optimization technique (K Longest Path algorithm) was applied to solve optimal sequences of multiple cropping. Using north Florida as a study region, the model was utilized to investigate optimal multiple cropping sequences in an irrigated or non-irrigated field. The results indicated that, for a non-irrigated farm, winter wheat followed by either soybean, maize or peanut was the most profitable cropping rotation in a multiple cropping sequence. Especially favorable was the double cropping of wheat—peanut. For an irrigated farm, a peanut crop was found to be prominent. In the case where peanut was not considered in the rotation, inclusion of irrigated wheat—maize cropping could not be recommended as a profitable multiple cropping system. Instead, double cropping of maize—soybean was the main scheme under irrigation with the possible substitution of a wheat—soybean crop sequence. To obtain higher, stable net returns, a north Florida farmer with no irrigation capability should plan his production system according to multiple cropping sequences SQ2 or SQ4 in the study. Use of these results for real-time decision making requires that the optimization be evaluated to select each new crop using current farm status and future expected weather and market conditions.

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  • Y.J. Tsai

  • J.W. Mishoe

  • J.W. Jones

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