Effect of Prices, Traits and Market Structure on Corn Seeding Density
Recent agronomic research finds that economically optimal seeding densities have likely increased for many Midwestern corn farmers as a result of genetic improvements including new GM traits such as Bt corn and herbicide tolerance. We derive a per acre demand model for hybrid seed corn to examine the determinants of corn seeding densities and estimate the model using a large data set of individual farmer seed corn purchases. Current results identify factors other than prices affecting farmer corn seeding densities. Among these factors are the GM trait of the seed corn, measures of the local seed corn market structure, seed purchase source and intended end use. We interpret these effects in terms of information effects—farmers with more/better access to the latest agronomic research indicating that recommended seeding densities should be increased tend to plant corn at higher densities.
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