Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education


Methods of crop selection are varied, depending on a variety of factors, including resources, climate, soil type, and potential marketability of the crop. This study utilizes a theoretical farm of one thousand farmable acres to estimate the costs and returns as well as the resources associated with cultivating, planting, irrigating, harvesting and selling the crop products. The theoretical farm is situated in southwest Idaho in any of the counties of Ada, Canyon, Elmore, Owyhee and Payette. The crops grown are typical of the area; the crops examined are field corn (Zea mays), alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and sugarbeets (Beta vulgaris). Each is examined for yield potential, and market value. Timeliness of production practices are important for best management, so field capacities are determined and machinery needs are calculated. Input costs for fertilization, irrigation and pest control are analyzed and contrasted between each crop. Market data and prices of each crop are used to determine profitability and feasibility of the theoretical farm. Finally, the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) is discussed with respect to each crop and any potential benefits of using GPS are examined.



Faculty Mentor

Ralph Whitesides

Departmental Honors Advisor

Michael Pate