A study on whether maize for silage is an alternative to cotton farming in Izmir, Turkey: Gross margin and data envelopment analysis


JOURNAL OF FOOD AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT, vol.7, pp.603-608, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Page Numbers: pp.603-608


In Izmir, Turkey, while the area of cotton plantations has decreased by 42% in the last five years, the area of maize for silage fanning has increased by 162%. In this study, the issue whether maize for silage is an alternative to growing cotton has been evaluated through the analysis of gross margin, subsidies and technical efficiency. During the survey 74 farmers of maize for silage were interviewed. The statistical data for cotton was obtained from recent studies. The results of gross margin analysis showed that maize for silage is more profitable than growing cotton but when the current subsidies were taken into consideration, growing cotton is more advantageous than maize for silage in farm size larger than 10 ha. When technical efficiency analyses were evaluated, the average efficiency ratio for cotton is 10% higher than maize for silage according to CRS (constant returns to scale). However, the results for average efficiency ratios for cotton (0.932) and maize for silage (0.939) based on input according to VRS (variable returns to scale) are very close to each other. Average efficiency values for maize for silage and cotton in terms of output are 0.800 and 0.926, respectively. As for fully efficient farms, average efficiency ratio for cotton (60.87%) is higher than that of maize for silage (31.08%). It can be stated that cotton farms are specialized better than maize for silage farms. Therefore, it is obvious that the most important factors on the decisions of farmers on whether to shift into maize for silage farming or continue cotton farming turn out to be the regional price policies and premium system practiced by the government.