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Value of information: costs and returns of precision corn production in Livingston County, Illinois

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  • Osei, Edward
  • Li, Huijun

Abstract

Despite the intuitive appeal of precision farming, adoption of precision technology options has been well below expectations. A review of precision farming studies suggests as expected that precision farming becomes more profitable as in-field spatial variability increases. However, no studies have attempted to quantify infield variability at any reasonable scale beyond a few experimental fields. This study contributes to the assessment of precision farming by introducing an approach that can help characterize the relative profitability of precision farming methods as compared to conventional farming. Using readily available geographic information systems databases on crop cover, soil type, and weather, we use a fully-linked biophysical-economic modeling system to assess the viability of precision nitrogen applications on corn in Livingston County, Illinois. Livingston County was selected because of its role as a major corn producing county in Illinois. We find little evidence, in general, for viability of precision nitrogen applications in contrast to uniform application rates, largely because of the lack of significant in-field spatial variability in soil types. However, precision application methods may be viable in specific situations.

Suggested Citation

  • Osei, Edward & Li, Huijun, 2016. "Value of information: costs and returns of precision corn production in Livingston County, Illinois," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236184, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea16:236184
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.236184
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    1. Philip W. Gassman & Jimmy R. Williams & Xiuying Wang & Ali Saleh & Edward Osei & Larry M. Hauck & R. César Izaurralde & Joan D. Flowers, 2009. "Agricultural Policy Environmental EXtender (APEX) Model: An Emerging Tool for Landscape and Watershed Environmental Analyses, The," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 09-tr49, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    2. Luc Anselin & Rodolfo Bongiovanni & Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer, 2004. "A Spatial Econometric Approach to the Economics of Site-Specific Nitrogen Management in Corn Production," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 675-687.
    3. Matías L. Ruffo & Donald G. Bullock & Germán A. Bollero, 2009. "The Value of Variable Rate Technology: An Information-Theoretic Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 209-223.
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    Production Economics; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;

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