In general, we assumed that for cotton growers to adopt a particular practice to a high degree they must be convinced that it was economically beneficial or had some other desirable effect, and, that given adequate time, practices whose value has been demonstrated through SSP-funded research should be adopted. We did not however assume the inverse (i.e. that if adoption was low, it was because the farmers did not believe the practice was beneficial). When reviewing publications of “Best Management Practices” (BMP’s) we also assumed that practices would not be considered BMPs unless they had been previously found to be economically beneficial even if no specific empirical evidence could be found or cited.
After completing summarization and partial analysis of survey data, we consulted with CI research staff and others, and reviewed the available literature (SSP database, hard copy SSP Summary reports, 1991-2002, Beltwide Conference Proceedings, scientific journal papers, University publications and trade journal articles) in an effort to find relevant economic data. We cite some studies in the report that do not include detailed economic comparisons among treatments if there was at least some data presented on lint yield and/or fiber quality, key measures related to profitability. We also considered any evidence associated with savings in variable costs (e.g., seed, fuel, labor, pesticides, fertilizer, etc.) as they would certainly effect profitability.