Impact of switching from fall to spring fertilizer application : "an economic analysis of N2O reducing seeding systems in Saskatchewan"
Marleau, Richard Philip
Nitrogen (N) fertilizer applied in the fall has been shown to increase emissions of N2O a GHG (Nyborg et al. 1997). Applying N fertilizer in the spring is a management technique Saskatchewan grain and oilseed producers can use to reduce N2O emissions. The hypothesis of this thesis is that fall application of N fertilizer is more profitable than spring application. Factors to consider in the timing of fertilizer application include, the level of information available, input cost, input efficiency, and application cost. The key objective of this thesis is to determine the financial impact of switching to spring N application from fall N application. Stochastic variables include fall subsoil moisture, winter precipitation, growing season precipitation, input costs, and output prices. Expected utility theory for two representative farms at two locations is used to determine optimal N fertilizer rates and the value of spring subsoil moisture information and the value of spring output price forecasts. The fixed and variable operating costs are calculated for three seeding systems. The results show that it is optimum for producers to purchase N fertilizer in the fall and apply N fertilizer in the spring. Spring subsoil moisture information, and spring output price forecasts have little value to producers committed to continuous cropping. One pass (seed and fertilize in the spring) seeding systems have lower variable and fixed costs than two pass seeding systems for producers applying large amounts of fertilizer.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorGray, Richard S.
Copyright DateApril 2003
one pass seeding systems
two pass seeding systems
optimum fertilizer rate