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IoFarm in Field Test: Does a Cost-Optimal Choice of Fertilization Influence Yield, Protein Content, and Market Performance in Crop Production?

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  • Michael Friedrich Tröster

    (Agricultural Production and Resource Economics, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Alte Akademie 14, 85354 Freising, Germany
    Educational Schools Triesdorf, Markgrafenstraße 12, 91746 Weidenbach, Germany)

  • Johannes Sauer

    (Agricultural Production and Resource Economics, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Alte Akademie 14, 85354 Freising, Germany)

Abstract

Decision-support system (DSS) IoFarm was developed to identify economically optimal fertilizer strategies on the farm level. The average cost savings are 66 EUR ha −1 . This study aimed to determine whether this approach impacts yield, protein content, and market performance in crop production compared to usual farm-fertilization strategies. Few DSSs for fertilizer optimization consider multiple nutrients. DSSs with a clear focus on both fertilizer intensity and the least-cost combination of fertilizers are even rarer. To the best of our knowledge, there is no information in the literature on the impact of such DSSs on yield, protein content, and market performance for cereal–maize crop rotation. This study determines for the first time whether the financial benefits of using such an optimization tool are in conflict with important agronomic goals. In a three-year field trial, IoFarm was compared to standard farm-fertilization strategies. Results were evaluated with an analysis of variance followed by post hoc tests. No significant differences in yield, protein content, and market performance were found for comparable fertilization variants (with or without organic fertilization). However, differences exist in the selection of fertilizers and the timing of fertilization. Results show the agronomic comparability of IoFarm and usual farm-fertilizer strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Friedrich Tröster & Johannes Sauer, 2021. "IoFarm in Field Test: Does a Cost-Optimal Choice of Fertilization Influence Yield, Protein Content, and Market Performance in Crop Production?," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 11(6), pages 1-22, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:11:y:2021:i:6:p:571-:d:579059
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Araya, A. & Prasad, P.V.V. & Gowda, P.H. & Afewerk, A. & Abadi, B. & Foster, A.J., 2019. "Modeling irrigation and nitrogen management of wheat in northern Ethiopia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 216(C), pages 264-272.
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