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

  • Babcock, Bruce A.
  • Pautsch, Gregory R.

This study develops a model based on the yield potential of various soil types in 12 Iowa counties to estimate the potential value of switching from uniform to variable fertilizer rates. Results indicate modest increases in the gross returns over fertilizer costs, ranging from $7.43 to $1.52 per acre. The net profitability of variable-rate technology (VRT) is sensitive to the per acre costs of moving to a VRT program. Under the assumptions of the model, applying variable rates would increase yield by 0.05 to 0.50 bushels per acre, and would reduce fertilizer costs by $1.19 to $8.83 per acre.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 1121.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 1998, vol. 23 no. 2, pp. 385-400
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:1121
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Hennessy, David A. & Babcock, Bruce A., 1998. "Information, Flexibility, and Value Added," Staff General Research Papers 1362, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Babcock, Bruce A. & Carriquiry, Alicia L. & Stern, Hal S., 1996. "Evaluation of Soil Test Information in Agricultural Decision-Making," Staff General Research Papers 1139, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Babcock, Bruce A., 1992. "Effects of Uncertainty on Optimal Nitrogen Applications (The)," Staff General Research Papers 10588, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Babcock, Bruce A. & Blackmer, A. M., 1994. "Ex Post Relationship Between Growing Conditions and Nitrogen Fertilizer Levels (The)," Staff General Research Papers 10582, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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