The goal of this paper is to investigate how operations research techniques, specifically dynamic programming, can be applied to crop rotation decisions in agriculture. One major concern that farmers face is pests. This paper seeks to respond to this by solving optimization models that represent scenarios in which pests are present and pose a threat to potential yield. The final model discussed in this paper optimizes field crop rotations for five years in an ecosystem in which soybean cyst nematodes and soybean aphids are present. When aphids infest in the first and fourth years of our five year system, the optimal crop rotation is as follows: corn, susceptible soybean, corn, corn, susceptible soybean. A sensitivity analysis is then performed to help explain why this rotation is chosen.


Ramsay, John




operations research, dynamic programming, agriculture, integrated pest management

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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