|Straw Burning Economic Analysis at
the Farm Level-81
Project Leader and Principal UC Investigators
Kent D. Olson,UCD Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Agricultural Economics
The objective of this study is to estimate the on-farm economic effects of a
total ban on straw burning. Straw incorporation and two systems of baling
and removing the straw to the roadside were evaluated. The incorporation
method followed combine harvesting at the normal level and spreading of the
straw. One baling system followed combine harvesting at the normal level.
The straw was cut to ground level with a swather before it was baled. The
other baling system followed combine harvesting at ground level, with the
straw raked into windrows. Both baling systems included moving the bales to
the roadside. All three methods were compared with current burning
The combine method with the cutter bar at the normal height decreased net income by $73.86 per acre compared with burning. With the combine cutter bar at ground level, baling decreased net income by $52.15 per acre. A farm with 250 acres of rice would have an estimated decrease in net income of $13,038 with baling and combining at ground level, $18,465 with baling and combining at the normal height, and $16,618 to $23,033 for incorporating the straw. With a rice yield of 60 cwt per acre, these estimates show that the rough rice price needs to rise between $0.87 and $1.54 per cwt for the farmer to have the same net income as before adopting one of these alternatives to burning.