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Nitrogen-Land Substitution in Corn Production: A Reconciliation of Aggregate and Firm-Level Evidence

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  • Thomas W. Hertel
  • Kyle Stiegert
  • Harry Vroomen

Abstract

In this paper we seek to reconcile low farm-level substitution elasticity between nitrogen, fertilizer, and land, with larger industry-level values for the corn sector. This is accomplished with a micro-simulation model which identifies twenty-three heterogeneous groups of corn farmers based on survey data for Indiana. After controlling for soil quality, slope, crop rotation, and natural nitrogen sources, considerable variation in fertilizer application rates remains. Model simulations indicate that the estimated substitution elasticity at the state level (1.15) is consistent with very low farm-level substitutability. The difference is attributable to compositional changes in the wake of relative price shocks. These compositional effects are potentially very important but they are ignored in most policy analyses. Copyright 1996, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas W. Hertel & Kyle Stiegert & Harry Vroomen, 1996. "Nitrogen-Land Substitution in Corn Production: A Reconciliation of Aggregate and Firm-Level Evidence," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 30-40.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:78:y:1996:i:1:p:30-40
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/1243776
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    1. Carmen Aina & Lorenzo Cappellari & Marco Francesconi, 2010. "Student Performance may not Improve when Universities are Choosier," CESifo Working Paper Series 3264, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Wyatt Thompson & Joe Dewbre & Patrick Westfhoff & Kateryna Schroeder & Simone Pieralli & Ignacio Perez Dominguez, 2017. "Introducing medium-and long-term productivity responses in Aglink-Cosimo," JRC Working Papers JRC105738, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    3. Ren, Xiaolin & Fullerton, Don & Braden, John B., 2011. "Optimal taxation of externalities interacting through markets: A theoretical general equilibrium analysis," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 496-514, September.
    4. Garnache, Cloé & Mérel, Pierre R. & Lee, Juhwan & Six, Johan, 2017. "The social costs of second-best policies: Evidence from agricultural GHG mitigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 39-73.
    5. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Schwab, Gerald, 1998. "The Economic Importance Of Crop Rotation Systems: Evidence From The Literature," Staff Papers 11690, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    6. Saunders, Caroline M. & Roningen, Vernon O., 2001. "Trade And The Environment. Linking A Partial Equilibrium Trade Model With Production Systems And Their Environmental Consequences," International Trade in Livestock Products Symposium, January 18-19, 2001, Auckland, New Zealand 14552, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    7. Jevgenijs Steinbuks & Thomas Hertel, 2016. "Confronting the Food–Energy–Environment Trilemma: Global Land Use in the Long Run," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(3), pages 545-570, March.
    8. Suh, Dong Hee & Moss, Charles B., 2014. "Exploring Agricultural Production Systems: Interactions between the Crop and Livestock Sectors," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170149, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Hertel, Thomas W., 2010. "The Global Supply and Demand for Agricultural Land in 2050: A Perfect Storm in the Making?," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 92639, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Taheripour, Farzad, 2006. "Economic Impacts of the Conservation Reserve Program: A General Equilibrium Framework," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21346, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    11. Roman Keeney & Thomas W. Hertel, 2008. "U.S. Market Potential For Dried Distillers Grain With Solubles," Working Papers 08-13, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    12. Alexandre Gohin, 2017. "On the direct, indirect and induced impacts of public policies: The European biofuel case," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 17-09, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    13. JunJie Wu & Bruce Babcock, 2001. "Spatial Heterogeneity and the Choice of Instruments to Control Nonpoint Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(2), pages 173-192, February.
    14. Arndt, Channing, 2002. "HIV/AIDS, human capital, and economic prospects for Mozambique," TMD discussion papers 88, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Cai, Yongyang & Golub, Alla A. & Hertel, Thomas W., 2016. "Developing Long-run Agricultural R&D Policy in the Face of Uncertain Economic Growth," 2017 Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 6-8, 2017, Chicago, Illinois 250111, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    16. Cai, Yongyang & Steinbuks, Jevgenijs & Elliott, Joshua & Hertel, Thomas W., 2014. "The effect of climate and technological uncertainty in crop yields on the optimal path of global land use," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7009, The World Bank.
    17. Borisova, Tatiana & Shortle, James S. & Horan, Richard D. & Abler, David G., 2003. "The Value Of Ecological And Economic Information In Water Quality Management," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22180, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    18. Polman, Nico B. P. & Thijssen, Geert J., 2002. "Combining results of different models: the case of a levy on the Dutch nitrogen surplus," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 41-49, May.

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