Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Lawton L. Nalley

Committee Member

Kenton B. Watkins

Second Committee Member

Kristofor R. Brye

Third Committee Member

Michael P. Popp

Abstract

With water insufficiency being already a major issue and potential carbon policies on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Arkansas rice producers may need to undergo some changes in regards to rice cultivar selection. The purpose of this study is to estimate the environmental benefits of cultivating hybrid rice varieties as opposed to conventional and Clearfield rice varieties. To accomplish this goal, water use and GHG emissions were estimated on per acre (ac) and per bushel (bu) basis for most commonly cultivated rice varieties in Arkansas. The study focuses particularly on six main rice stations in the State of Arkansas. The hypothesis of this study is that hybrid rice varieties use less water and emit less GHG on both per ac and per bu, which would make them the ideal choice to meet the increasing demand for rice while reducing water use and GHG emission from its production. This study found that hybrid rice varieties have statistically lower water-use/bu and GHG emissions/bu than conventional and Clearfield.

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