Journal Article

Economic Feasibility of Variable-Rate Technology for Nitrogen on Corn

Sunil Thrikawala, Alfons Weersink, Glenn Fox and Gary Kachanoski

in American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 81, issue 4, pages 914-927
Published in print November 1999 | ISSN: 0002-9092
Published online November 1999 | e-ISSN: 1467-8276 | DOI:
Economic Feasibility of Variable-Rate Technology for Nitrogen on Corn

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The economic feasibility of three different fertilizer management strategies (constant rate, three-rate and multiple-rate technology) in the application of nitrogen fertilizer to corn are compared under different probability distributions for field fertility. A constant rate was more profitable than either variable-rate technology system for homogeneous fields with low fertility. The application area at which the relative profitability between systems changed was largely determined by the characteristics of the fertility distribution rather than by assumptions regarding costs. Variable-rate technology improves groundwater quality in low-fertility fields by reducing total fertilizer applied and in high-fertility fields by increasing corn yield.

Keywords: fertility distributions; net returns; precision farming; variable rate; Q120; Q160

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Agricultural Economics

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