Agronomic and economic benefits of fertilizing crops
Operating costs at farm level can be divided into essential, enhancement, maintenance, protection and insurance. Save growth hormones, which are not common in western Canada, fertilizer and better quality of seed are the only types of operating costs that enhance yield. Economic returns from these two inputs must be sufficient to allow for financing all other operating (and fixed) costs. A series of experiments (279) have been used to demonstrate the economic return to fertilizer application. A number of experiments (13) are designed to included gradual additions of all fertilizer forms and demonstrate the contribution of each individual nutrient to the final yield and economic return from its use. An N return calculator, in excel format, has been developed by adapting a University of Wisconsin model to assist with this evaluation. Not all fertilizer products provided maximum economic return and choice of appropriate nutrients to achieve this has become crucial.
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