Economic analysis of site-specific wheat management with respect to grain quality and separation of the different quality fractions

The paper analyzes site-specific and uniform management options for wheat production with respect to grain quality. Besides site-specific fertilization the economic potential of segregation of different grain qualities is the subject of this paper. Yield and quality response to fertilizer were taken from field experiments in Germany to calculate site-specific response functions. The economic optima were calculated for uniform management (UM), complete separate management of the subfields (SM), site-specific fertilization (SSF) and grain segregation (GS) for different price structures according to different grain qualities. The results show that over all price structures, highest economic potential was found with SM or SSF compared to UM. However, these management practices require the possibility to separately manage subfields (SM) or specific fertilization equipment and fertilizer algorithms (SSM). GS did not have a higher economic potential than UM. However, if required grain qualities are not met for the whole field, GS can substantially reduce profit losses by separating part of the grains and selling them at higher prices. This may save the farmer more than 50 € ha–1. In situations where higher grain qualities could only be obtained at the expense of yield penalties, premiums for higher grain qualities can create incentives for fertilizer rates beyond the yield maximizing rate. GS technologies may even boost this effect.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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