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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Douglas Franklin


This thesis studies technical innovation and the characteristics of the adoption decision. The technical change from conventional farming into sustainable and reduced tillage farming practices is a dynamically continuous innovation because of the change it creates in the farming pattern. Sustainable farming in this context is a farming practice designed to drastically reduce, preferably to eliminate, the chemical pesticides and inorganic fertilizers that are key elements of conventional farming by substituting crop rotation and cultivation for pest control and manure legumes, crop residue and other organic waste for plant nutrients (Crosson, 1989). Reduced tillage, sometimes called ecofarming is defined as a system of controlling weeds and managing crop residue throughout a crop rotation with minimum use of tillage so as to reduce soil erosion and production costs, while increasing weed control, water infiltration, moisture conservation and crop yields (Wicks and Fenester 1981). Both sustainable farming and lowtill farming practices require more supervision than conventional farming practices, but the savings they make through reduced purchases of chemicals and energy makes their input costs lower.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Agricultural innovations -- South Dakota
Farm management -- South Dakota
Alternative agriculture -- South Dakota




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