IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Fertilizer use patterns in Yunnan Province, China: Implications for agricultural and environmental policy

Listed author(s):
  • Yunju, Li
  • Kahrl, Fredrich
  • Jianjun, Pan
  • Roland-Holst, David
  • Yufang, Su
  • Wilkes, Andreas
  • Jianchu, Xu

Balancing the need to increase crop yields with the need to reduce the environmental impacts of fertilizers will pose major policy, regulatory, and extension challenges for China. A growing number of studies have demonstrated the potential for improving fertilizer use efficiency in China, but it is not clear how to achieve these efficiency improvements on a larger scale. The empirical foundation for fertilizer policy in China is still weak, particularly in inland provinces. This paper examines fertilizer use patterns in Yunnan Province, an inland and ecologically important province in Southwest China, drawing on two household surveys. We find that fertilizer application rates in the survey areas are highly heterogeneous, among crops, households, and regions. Managing this diversity poses the largest challenge to fertilizer policy in Yunnan and, by extension, in China. None of the factors that we examine in this study are robust predictors of fertilizer intensity (kgha−1) in the survey regions, though in one survey there is a strong inverse relationship between farm size and fertilizer intensity. The lack of clearer signals in the survey data, a consequence of heterogeneity in cropping patterns, agroecosystems, and local economies, underscores the importance of locally tailored approaches to fertilizer regulation in China, and of a strong, service-oriented agricultural extension system oriented around sustainable agriculture.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

Volume (Year): 110 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 78-89

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:110:y:2012:i:c:p:78-89
DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2012.03.011
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Qiaolun Ye & Scott Rozelle, 1994. "Fertilizer Demand in China's Reforming Economy," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 42(2), pages 191-207, July.
  2. Xu, Cheng & Chunru, Han & Taylor, Donald C., 1992. "Sustainable agricultural development in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1127-1144, August.
  3. Avraham Ebenstein & Jian Zhang & Margaret S. McMillan & Kevin Chen, 2011. "Chemical Fertilizer and Migration in China," NBER Working Papers 17245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Huang, Jikun & Wang, Xiaobing & Zhi, Huayong & Huang, Zhurong & Rozelle, Scott, 2011. "Subsidies and distortions in China’s agriculture: evidence from producer-level data," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 55(1), March.
  5. Domagalski, Joseph & Lin, Chao & Luo, Yang & Kang, Jie & Wang, Shaoming & Brown, Larry R. & Munn, Mark D., 2007. "Eutrophication study at the Panjiakou-Daheiting Reservoir system, northern Hebei Province, People's Republic of China: Chlorophyll-a model and sources of phosphorus and nitrogen," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-3), pages 43-53, December.
  6. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Rosegrant, Mark W, 1999. "China's Food Economy to the Twenty-first Century: Supply, Demand, and Trade," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 737-766, July.
  7. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
  8. Shenggen Fan & Connie Chan-Kang, 2005. "Is small beautiful? Farm size, productivity, and poverty in Asian agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(s1), pages 135-146, January.
  9. Wang, Qingbin & Halbrendt, Catherine & Johnson, Stanley R., 1996. "Grain Production and Environmental Management in China's Fertilizer Economy," Staff General Research Papers Archive 994, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Wang, Guanghuo & Zhang, Q.C. & Witt, C. & Buresh, R.J., 2007. "Opportunities for yield increases and environmental benefits through site-specific nutrient management in rice systems of Zhejiang province, China," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 801-806, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:110:y:2012:i:c:p:78-89. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.