Flat earth economics and site-specific crop management: how flat is flat?

Flat earth economics and site-specific crop management: how flat is flat? The practical significance of achieving optimality in on-farm decision making has been debated in the agricultural economics literature since the 1950s, with some arguing that optimal input application is less critical if farmers are faced with a flat pay-off function. This issue has considerable implications for the adoption of site-specific crop management (SSCM), where the optimal management of inputs across space is emphasised. This paper contributes to this debate by addressing some previously unresolved issues. Firstly, a new metric is proposed, termed ‘relative curvature’ (RC), that is used for more accurate and versatile quantification of the flatness of pay-off functions. Secondly, this metric is used to compare the difference in profitability between management classes within the same field, where SSCM is practiced. Thirdly, the RC metric is used to examine the effect of considering environmental damage costs from non-optimal input application on the flatness of pay-off functions. The key findings of this paper are that there exists a high degree of variability in relative curvature of pay-off functions derived for different management classes within the same field. The RC procedure can be used to identify fields which are most suitable to variable-rate management intervention. Also, RC increases substantially when environmental costs are accounted for, implying that optimality of input use may be more important than previously thought. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Precision Agriculture Springer Journals

Flat earth economics and site-specific crop management: how flat is flat?

Loading next page...
Springer US
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Life Sciences; Agriculture; Soil Science & Conservation; Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry; Statistics for Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry and Earth Sciences; Atmospheric Sciences
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


  • Potential nitrogen immobilization in grassland soils across a soil organic matter gradient
    Barrett, JE; Burke, IC
  • Precision agriculture and sustainability
    Bongiovanni, R; Lowenberg-Deboer, J
  • Identifying potential within-field management zones from cotton yield estimates
    Boydell, B; McBratney, AB

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial