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Abstract

This analysis determines profit maximizing N fertilization levels of hard red spring wheat (HRSW) for various wheat prices, N prices, and protein-based HRSW price premium/discount (P/D) structures for south eastern Washington data. Fertilizer response data consisting of rates of N fertilization (lb/ac), grain yield (bu/ac), and grain protein (%) were used to statistically estimate regression relationships that predicted yield and protein in response to N. All predicted net return maximizing N, protein, and yield levels were within the data range. Increasing P/D incentives for protein increased optimal N, the expected economic result. At the high P/D structures, the P/D structure dominated N and wheat prices in determining optimal N application levels. Overall, net return-maximizing yields varied only modestly with changes in both N and wheat price in this data set. However, in all scenarios, as P/D incentives increased, net return maximizing N levels were beyond the level that resulted in maximum yield. At the two lowest P/D structures, which provided the lowest reward for protein, it was most profitable to fertilize for slightly less than 14% expected protein. These results indicate that it is not always profitable to use "14% protein" as an N fertilization goal. Abbreviations : CT, conventional tillage; HRSW, hard red spring wheat; HRWW, hard red winter wheat; N, nitrogen; NO3, nitrate; NT, No Tillage; P/D, premium/discount; SWSW, soft white spring wheat; SWW, soft white wheat.

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