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Abstract

We investigate the effectiveness of soil testing and pest scouting by focusing on field-level chemical use for corn production. Based on the ARMS phase II and phase III data, we estimate equations for technology adoptions and chemical use. For estimation, we incorporate nonlinear endogenous switching regression to account for the nonnegative chemical use and endogeneity problems regarding adoptions of conservation practices. We find that: 1) adopting information technologies are positively correlated with farmers’ human capital, field characteristics, and corn prices. 2) the effects of information technologies on farmers’ nitrogen use depends on crop rotation. To be specific, farmers who adopt soil testing and crop rotation use nitrogen less than farmers who use crop rotation but do not adopt soil testing by about 8 lb/acre, but soil testing has insignificant effects on the rate of nitrogen application by farmers who grew corn continuously. 3) farmers’ management practices such as the use of manure and GM corns have significant effects on their nitrogen and herbicide use, but the directions and sizes of them depends on adoption of information technologies and previous field use.

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