Nutrient data obtained from soil chemical tests were analyzed in an activity analysis model to identify limiting factors in peanut production on the Texas High Plains. A production function was estimated for the study field, and limiting factors were identified at individual sites where the production function indicated that yield did not respond. The estimated production function also enabled us to conduct a cost-return analysis of variable- and blanket-rate fertilizer applications. The results showed that peanut yields did not respond to most of the nutrients included in the study, which confirmed conclusions from previous studies in the study region. Calcium and nitrogen were the only two limiting factors identified in this study. Significant economic returns could be obtained by site-specific fertilizer application. The average economic return from variable-rate calcium fertilizer application was $27.84 ha−1 and from blanket-rate it was $10.73 ha−1. The return from variable-rate nitrogen fertilizer application was about $20 ha−1 and from a blanket-rate it was about $14 ha−1. There seems to be quite a strong economic incentive to adopt variable-rate application for calcium and nitrogen fertilizer application.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 26, 2009
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