Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



This study examines the key economic results from 10 different no-till crop rotations and two conventional till-soybean rotations based on agronomic data from the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory located near Brookings, South Dakota. These rotations were evaluated from 2001 through 2008. From this data a 1200 acre model crop farm was constructed to conduct full budget analysis for all 12 rotations. Returns to management and labor were calculated to evaluate which rotations provide the highest returns. Simulation was used to determine which rotations producers prefer as the mover from risk neutral to risk averse, and to determine the price a carbon credit payment would need to be to make a farmer indifferent between the two tillage systems. Results indicated that: 1. The conventional till rotations have the highest average net returns, 2. Producers become risk averse, several four-crop no-till rotations are preferred over conventional till rotations, 3 carbon credit payments would need to be $15 to $57 per acre for the no-till rotations to be as profitable as the conventional tillage rotation, and 4. There is little economic incentive for farmers to switch to no-till in this region.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

No-Tillage -- Economic aspects -- South Dakota

Crop rotation

Carbon sequestration Sustainable agriculture



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University