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Optimal site-specific fertilization and harvesting strategies with respect to crop yield and quality response to nitrogen


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  • Meyer-Aurich, Andreas
  • Weersink, Alfons
  • Gandorfer, Markus
  • Wagner, Peter


Incorrect fertilizer decisions can be costly if quality of the output, in addition to yield, is influenced by the application rate, which contrasts the flat payoff function estimated for fertilizer by previous studies focusing only on quantity. This study aims at modelling economic potentials of the combination of site-specific fertilization and quality specific harvesting at the example of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), in Germany. Crop yield and protein response data to different nitrogen fertilizer applications were used from 15 locations to simulate site-specific wheat management. Four different management strategies were compared using a step wise price function for wheat qualities: uniform management, completely separate management, site-specific fertilization with uniform harvest, uniform fertilization with quality-specific harvest. It was found that opportunity costs (>50Â [euro]/ha) may apply, if threshold values for crop qualities are missed. Separation of different qualities can reduce this risk and create incentives for producing higher qualities on heterogeneous fields. Completely separate management had an economic advantage of up to 30Â [euro]/ha for the gross revenue, while site-specific fertilization alone had only marginal economic effects. However, these advantages have to cover costs for the use of technologies used, to be economically preferable.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

Volume (Year): 103 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (September)
Pages: 478-485

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:103:y:2010:i:7:p:478-485

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Keywords: Site-specific nitrogen management Wheat quality Grain segregation;


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  1. Neil R. Miller, 2006. "Is Site-Specific Yield Response Consistent over Time? Does It Pay?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(2), pages 471-483.
  2. David J. Pannell, 2006. "Flat Earth Economics: The Far-reaching Consequences of Flat Payoff Functions in Economic Decision Making," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 553-566.
  3. Rajsic, Predrag & Weersink, Alfons, 2008. "Do farmers waste fertilizer? A comparison of ex post optimal nitrogen rates and ex ante recommendations by model, site and year," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 97(1-2), pages 56-67, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Meyer-Aurich & Jørgen Olesen & Annette Prochnow & Reiner Brunsch, 2013. "Greenhouse gas mitigation with scarce land: The potential contribution of increased nitrogen input," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 18(7), pages 921-932, October.
  2. Hyytiäinen, Kari & Niemi, Jarkko K. & Koikkalainen, Kauko & Palosuo, Taru & Salo, Tapio, 2011. "Adaptive optimization of crop production and nitrogen leaching abatement under yield uncertainty," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(8), pages 634-644, October.
  3. Remble, Amber & Britz, Wolfgang & Keeney, Roman, 2013. "Farm Level Tradeoffs in the Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150442, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


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