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Estimating Site-Specific Nitrogen Crop Response Functions: A Conceptual Framework And Geostatistical Model


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  • Malzer, Gary L.
  • Hurley, Terrance M.
  • Kilian, Bernard


Confirming the precision agriculture hypothesis for variable rate nitrogen applications (VRA) is challenging. To confront this challenge, researchers have used increasingly sophisticated statistical models to estimate and compare site-specific crop response functions (SSCRFs). While progress has been made, it has been hampered by the lack of a conceptual framework to guide the development of appropriate statistical models. This paper provides such a framework and demonstrates its utility by developing a heteroscedastic, fixed and random effects, geostatistical model to test if VRA can increase nitrogen returns. The novelty of the model is the inclusion of site, spatial, treatment, and treatment strip heteroscedasticity and correlation. Applied to data collected in 1995 from two corn nitrogen response experiments in South Central Minnesota, results demonstrate the importance of including site, spatial, treatment, and treatment strip effects in the estimation of SSCRFs. Results also indicate a significant potential for VRA to increase nitrogen returns and that these potential returns increase as the area of the management unit decreases. At one location, there was greater than a 95% chance that VRA could have increased profitability if the cost of implementing VRA was less than 14.5 $ ha-1. At the other location, if implementation costs were less than 48.3 $ ha-1, there was greater than a 95% chance of increased profitability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 14111.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umaesp:14111

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Keywords: Crop Production/Industries;

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  1. Bullock, David S. & Lowenberg-DeBoer, Jess & Swinton, Scott M., 2002. "Adding value to spatially managed inputs by understanding site-specific yield response," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 233-245, November.
  2. Bongiovanni, Rodolfo & Lowenberg-DeBoer, James, 2001. "Precision Agriculture: Economics Of Nitrogen Management In Corn Using Site-Specific Crop Response Estimates From A Spatial Regression Model," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20650, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Hurley, Terrance M. & Kilian, Bernard & Malzer, Gary L. & Dikici, Huseyin, 2001. "The Value Of Information For Variable Rate Nitrogen Applications: A Comparison Of Soil Test, Topographical, And Remote Sensing Information," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20726, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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Cited by:
  1. Velandia Margarita & Roderick M. Rejesus & Eduardo Segarra & Kevin Bronson, 2004. "Un análisis económico de la aproximación estadística para el establecimiento de zonas de manejo en agricultura de precisión: caso de algodón en Texas," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  2. Pardey, Philip G. & James, Jennifer S. & Alston, Julian M. & Wood, Stanley & Koo, Bonwoo & Binenbaum, Eran & Hurley, Terrance M. & Glewwe, Paul & Mayer, Jorge & Jones, Richard & De Groote, Hugo & Kana, 2007. "Science, Technology and Skills," Reports 136256, University of Minnesota, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy.
  3. Anvec, Tihomir & Whelan, Brett & McBratney, Alex, 2004. "On the Economics of Precision Agriculture: Technical, Informational and Environmental Aspects," 2004 Conference (48th), February 11-13, 2004, Melbourne, Australia 58362, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  4. Oishi, Kikuo & Hurley, Terrance M. & Malzer, Gary L., 2006. "Evidence of Temporal Variation in Site-Specific Crop Response to Fertilizer Inputs," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21140, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Martin Bachmaier, 2009. "A confidence set for that x-coordinate where a quadratic regression model has a given gradient," Statistical Papers, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 649-660, June.
  6. Lambert, Dayton M. & Lowenberg-DeBoer, James & Malzer, Gary L., 2004. "A Systems Approach For Evaluating On-Farm Site-Specific Management Trials: A Case Study With Variable Rate Manure And Crop Quality Response To Inputs," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20091, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).


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