Continuous cash crop rotation systems under full CA principles for the Riversdale winter cereal production area

Kooper, Paulus (2020-03)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The challenge for South African and world agriculture in general, is to produce food for more people with less arable land. The negative impact of global warming is undeniable and competition for limited natural resources has increased dramatically. It is therefore necessary to replace conventional farming practises with sustainable agricultural practises. Conservation Agriculture (CA) is a holistic approach to sustainable agriculture based on three related principles namely: minimum soil disturbance, maximum soil cover, and crop rotation. After the deregulation of the South African agricultural sector in the 1990s, South African farmers began practising crop rotation to counter the risk associated with the liberalised market. The benefits of CA are site-specific and vary from soil to soil. Thus trial data from the Riversdale experimental farm was used to evaluate the financial implication of different crop rotation systems under full CA practises over the long run. To ensure that both institutional and economic environments that drive whole farm profitability are accommodated, research into mixed crop-livestock systems are region and country-specific and no universal fact exists. One of the specific objectives of this study was to determine how the continuous cash crop systems under full CA principles compare financially with traditional crop-pasture systems for the Riversdale area on a whole farm level. The multi-faceted, complex, interconnected synergies of the farm system were incorporated in the present study through the systems approach, specifically a typical farm approach. Approximately nine stakeholders in the Riversdale production region were engaged through a multidisciplinary focus group discussion. Disciplines represented during the group discussion were agronomy, agricultural economics, soil sciences, and producers. Each stakeholder contributed to the group discussion with unique, intricate information about their specific fields. Typical whole farm budgets for alternative crop rotation systems for the Riversdale production area were constructed using Microsoft excel spreadsheet programmes. Whole farm modelling in excel spreadsheets enabled the modeller to integrate the knowledge of multidisciplinary experts within the multi-period budgets. The components of the whole farm budgets are interconnected and changes in one component impacts the profit of the whole farm system. The whole farm profitability for different crop rotation systems in the Riversdale area was measured based on the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and the Net Present Value (NPV). The traditional crop-pasture rotation system (LLLLLWBCWB) is the most profitable rotation system for the Riversdale area over a random 20 year period with an expected IRR of 5.39 per cent. The continuous cash crop rotation systems, specifically the WBC and WC rotation systems, are more profitable than the traditional crop-pasture rotation system when wheat prices are R3590/ton or more. The traditional crop-pasture rotation system is also more resilient to changes in output and input prices, while the continuous cash crop rotation systems are highly volatile to fluctuating external elements.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die grootste uitdaging vir Suid-Afrikaanse-, sowel as wêreldlandbou vandag, is om vir meer mense met minder bewerkbare grond, genoeg voedsel te produseer. Die negatiewe impak van aardverwarming is onbetwisbaar en die kompetisie vir beperkte natuurlike hulpbronne het toegeneem. Vir die rede word daar aanbeveel dat volhoubare landboupraktyke, konvensionele boerderypraktyke vervang. Bewaringslandbou is 'n holistiese benadering tot volhoubare landbou en is gebaseer op drie geïntegreerde beginsels nl.: minimum grondversteuring, maksimum grondbedekking en wisselbou. Na die deregulering van die Suid-Afrikaanse landbousektor in die 1990s, het Suid-Afrikaanse boere begin om wisselbou te beoefen as 'n teenmaatreël om die risiko’s van 'n geliberaliseerde mark te oorleef. Die voordele van bewaringslandbou is terreinspesifiek en verskil van grondsoort tot grondsoort. Gevolglik word daar in die studie gebruik gemaak van data vanaf die Riversdal-proefplaas, om sodoende die finansiële gevolge van verskillende wisselboustelsels onder die volle bewaringslandboupraktyke op die langtermyn, te evalueer. Om te verseker dat die institusionele en ekonomiese omgewings wat die winsgewendheid van die hele plaas bevorder, geakkommodeer word, is navorsing oor gemengde gewasweidingstelsels streek- en landspesifiek ondersoek, aangesien daar geen universele feite bestaan nie. Die hoofdoel van hierdie studie was om te bepaal hoe die deurlopende kontantgewasstelsels onder volle bewaringslandboubeginsels finansieël vergelyk met die tradisionele gewasweidingstelsels vir die Riversdal-omgewing op 'n hele plaas vlak. Die multi-fasette, komplekse, geïntegreerde sinergieë van die plaasstelsel is in die huidige studie geakkommodeer deur van ‘n stelsels raamwerk gebruik te maak. Verskillende rolspelers in die Riversdal produksiestreek was betrokke in 'n multidissiplinêre groepbespreking. Die dissiplines wat betrek is in die groepbespreking, was agronomie, landbou-ekonomie, grondwetenskappe en produsente. Elke belanghebbende het die groepbesprekings gestimuleer met unieke inligting rakende hul spesifieke velde. Tipiese hele-boerderybegrotings vir alternatiewe wisselboustelsels vir die Riversdal-produksiegebied is opgestel met die hulp van Excel-programme. Die modellering van volledige boerdery modelle in Excel het die navorser in staat gestel om die kennis van multidissiplinêre kundiges binne die meerjarige begrotings te integreer. Die komponente van die hele boerderybegroting is geïntegreer en veranderinge in een komponent beïnvloed die winste van die hele plaasstelsel. Die hele-plaas winsgewendheid van verskillende wisselboustelsels vir die Riversdal omgewing word gemeet op grond van die IOK (Interne Opbrengskoers) en die NHW (Netto Huidige Waarde). Die tradisionele gewas-weidingstelsel (LLLLLWBCWB) is die winsgewendste rotasiestelsel vir die Riversdal gebied oor 'n ewekansige 20 jaar periode met 'n verwagte IOK van 5.39 persent. Die deurlopende kontantgewas wisselboustelsels, spesifiek die WBC en WC rotasiestelsels is meer winsgewend as die tradisionele gewas-weiding rotasiestelsel wanneer die koringpryse R3590/ton of meer is. Die tradisionele wisselweidingstelsel is ook meer stabiel wanneer veranderinge in uitset- en insetpryse voorkom, terwyl die deurlopende kontantgewas wisselboustelsels wisselvallig is wanneer wisselende eksterne elemente voorkom.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108204
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