Economic optimality of phosphorus use in cotton production
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This study analyzes the economics of precision farming phosphorus application for cotton production in the Southern High Plains of Texas that is based on management zones delineated using spatial (Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis) statistics and non spatial (Sigma) approaches. Both the precision farming approaches to management zone delineation have been designed to identify relevant patterns of agronomic yield variability in order to adjust phosphorus input application accordingly. The data used to establish management zones is based on 2000 and 2001 crop years agronomic cotton experiments designed to study phosphorus use for cotton production in the Southern High Plains of Texas. A combination of regression, optimization, and simulation modeling tools are then utilized to evaluate the economic impact of precision farming approach (based on the management zones) versus the whole field farming method of using a uniform rate of input application. The research model incorporates the yield variability, output and input price risk for cotton to account for the uncertainty that producers face. Overall, for the year 2000, results suggest that a management zone-based precision farming approach result in higher cotton yields and/or higher risk adjusted profits, on average, relative to conventional whole field farming approach.