Estimating whole farm costs of conducting on-farm research on midwestern US corn and soybean farms: A linear programming approach

Precision agricultural technologies such as GPS-enabled automated guidance, yield monitors, and controller-driven variable rate applicators have reduced but not eliminated the costs of conducting on-farm trials. Farm decision makers often contemplate the benefit side of the profitability equation when considering on-farm trials. However, the cost portion of the equation must be considered to make informed decisions. This study estimates the whole-farm costs of conducting on-farm trials using a modification of the classic down-time model in a linear programming framework with comparisons to previously estimated potential benefits. Results indicate that after accounting for the whole farm costs there are still benefits to on-farm trials. Whole farm costs vary significantly dependent upon the type of on-farm trial undertaken. When on-farm trials cause planting and harvesting field operations to be conducted outside the optimal time, crop yields may be adversely affected. Therefore, farm decision makers should consider research questions that do not necessitate adversely impacting these windows until experience has been gained.

Issue Date:
Oct 01 2014
Publication Type:
Journal Article
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Published in:
International Journal of Agricultural Management, 04, 1
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 Record created 2017-08-24, last modified 2020-10-28

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