Profitability of organic cropping systems in southwestern Minnesota

Paul R. Mahoney, Kent D. Olson, Paul M. Porter, David R. Huggins, Catherine A. Perillo, R. Kent Crookston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In spite of concerns, Minnesota's dominant cropping system is the corn-soybean rotation using synthetic pesticides and chemically processed fertilizers. Using experimental data from 1990-99, this study compared the profitability of organic versus conventional strategies. Net return (NR) was calculated from actual yields, operations, inputs, prices and organic premiums. Yields and costs were lower for the 4-year organic strategy. With premiums, the 4-year organic strategy had NRs significantly higher than conventional strategies; without premiums, the NRs were statistically equal (P=0.05). Thus, the 4-year organic strategy was not less profitable nor its NR more variable than the conventional strategies in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the University of Minnesota and a cooperative agreement with the Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture.


  • Comulative distribution functions
  • First-degree stochastic dominance
  • High-purchased inputs
  • Low-purchased inputs
  • Net returns
  • Organic inputs
  • Organic premiums
  • Risk
  • Second-degree stochastic dominance
  • Variable Input Crop Management Systems


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