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Abstract

A number of programs have been introduced to limit environmental nonpoint pollution (NPP) associated with agricultural practices. One such program, precision agriculture, involves a range of management practices that utilize site-specific information at the field level. These practices can limit the amount of nutrient and chemical runoff to the environment because they precisely match fertilizer and pesticide application to the needs of the crop. This study uses bioeconomic modeling to investigate the environmental and economic impacts of precision agriculture technology associated with variable rate fertilizer application, as compared to a conventional, single rate application. The empirical results demonstrate that one particular precision agricultural technology, variable rate fertilizer application, can provide both environmental and economic benefits when used on cotton, soybeans, and corn in Mississippi. However, our results depend on several factors, such as soil variability, and the results may be different depending on local conditions.

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