WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Organic & Integrated Tree Fruit Production

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


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Search results on 01/16/18

5152. Peterson, C.L., E.L. Michalson, and K.N. Hawley. 1988. Minimum input wheat production.. Amer. Soc. Agric. Engineers Paper 88-1058.
The paper describes a computer decision support program under development at the University of Idaho to help growers determine the most economic levels of inputs. It focuses on machinery decisions and fertilizers, but requests information regarding all aspects of farm management. It can produce "what-if" scenarios, examining different production strategies under various price conditions. Minimum input farming is particularly concerned with front-end capital requirements. It is an expansion of minimum tillage to include variables beyond yield and erosion as measures of success. Lack of adequate production functions relating tillage, fertilizer and pesticide use to crop yield are a major limitation. The Idaho fertilizer guide was not useful. Two MIF field plots were set up to test the program, using reduced fertilizer and reduced tillage for MIF. Costs of production were reduced on the MIF plots, which had net returns of $0.53/bu versus $0.33/bu for the conventional plots. Most of the gain was due to the reduction in phosphate fertilizer.

7625. Willett, Gayle. 1989. How much fertilizer is needed to maximize profit?. Notes prepared for Extension training, Dept. of Agr. Economics,.
In Washington state, fertilizer represents 32% of the variable costs for winter wheat and 26% for spring barley. The paper discusses various strategies for growers to use in deciding on a fertilizer rate. This depends on their financial condition and their degree of risk tolerance. A Kansas study of 3000 dryland wheat farmers found that the 25% low income farms had 9% less yield than the 25% high income farms, even though production costs were almost double for the former. The low income farms spent nearly 4 times more for fertilizer. Yet, in general, the cost of underfertilizing is greater than the cost of overfertilizing. Profit maximization must also be tempered by external costs due to excess use of fertilizer. Several specific strategies are outlined for an individual to determine the optimum level of fertilizer.

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