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Moving from Uniform to Variable Fertilizer Rates on Iowa Corn: Effects on Rates and Returns

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  • Bruce A. Babcock
  • Gregory R. Pautsch

Abstract

There is a growing need for research that estimates the potential value to farmers of acquiring and using improved information about spatial variability within their fields. This paper considers the potential value of switching from single rate technologies (SRT) to variable rate technologies (VRT) for applying nitrogen fertilizer in 12 Iowa counties. Changes in yields, nitrogen use, and profits are estimated for individual field and entire counties. The economic and environmental impacts of moving from SRT to VRT depend heavily on the amount of inherent yield variability in field.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce A. Babcock & Gregory R. Pautsch, 1997. "Moving from Uniform to Variable Fertilizer Rates on Iowa Corn: Effects on Rates and Returns," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 97-wp182, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:97-wp182
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lence, Sergio H. & Hayes, Dermot J., 1995. "Land Allocation In The Presence Of Estimation Risk," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 20(01), July.
    2. Peter Berck & Gloria Helfand, 1990. "Reconciling the von Liebig and Differentiable Crop Production Functions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 72(4), pages 985-996.
    3. Hennessy, David A. & Babcock, Bruce A., 1998. "Information, Flexibility, and Value Added," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1362, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Bruce A. Babcock & Alfred M. Blackmer, 1994. "The Ex Post Relationship between Growing Conditions and Optimal Fertilizer Levels," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 16(3), pages 353-362.
    5. Babcock, Bruce A., 1992. "Effects of Uncertainty on Optimal Nitrogen Applications (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10588, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Babcock, Bruce A. & Carriquiry, Alicia L. & Stern, Hal S., 1996. "Evaluation of Soil Test Information in Agricultural Decision-Making," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1139, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Michael D. Frank & Bruce R. Beattie & Mary E. Embleton, 1990. "A Comparison of Alternative Crop Response Models," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 72(3), pages 597-603.
    8. Bruce A. Babcock, 1992. "The Effects of Uncertainty on Optimal Nitrogen Applications," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 14(2), pages 271-280.
    9. Babcock, Bruce A. & Blackmer, A. M., 1994. "Ex Post Relationship Between Growing Conditions and Nitrogen Fertilizer Levels (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10582, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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