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Evaluating the Economic Value of Variable Rate Nitrogen Application in Corn Production

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Title: Evaluating the Economic Value of Variable Rate Nitrogen Application in Corn Production
Author: Zhang, Yida
Department: Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Program: Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics
Advisor: Alfons, Weersink
Abstract: The use of precision agriculture technologies has been heralded as a means to increase farm profitability and reduce its environmental footprint by targeting inputs to spatial and temporal differences in production. While certain precision agriculture technologies, such as guidance systems and data gathering platforms, are widely used in crop production, the adoption rates for variable rate technologies are much lower. The slow uptake of variable rate application methods is inconsistent with the perception of the value to its ability to tailor input application to match the differing needs across a field. This thesis examines the difference in payoff between uniform rate nitrogen application, which is the standard approach, and variable rate nitrogen application in corn production using farm-level data from Southern Ontario. The results indicate that variable rate nitrogen application is modestly more profitable than uniform rate nitrogen application in corn production.
Date: 2020-07-20
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