Incentives to delay agricultural inputs to increase output and protect against climate change and weather related risk are explored. When producer decision making in non-irrigated production in an environment of weather uncertainty is outlined an incentive is found when imperfect information and risk is present. The EPIC crop simulator is then used to assess the yield impact of fertilizer delaying in the non-irrigated corn component of cornsoybean rotations in Humboldt and Webster Counties, Iowa. Assessed in conjunction with disaster frequency data, crop simulations suggest optimal input timing to be six weeks or more after planting. Additional production considerations such as spring field conditions and fertilizer runoff also support a six week or later input delay strategy. This result held under both recent weather conditions and climate change projections through 2040. The strength of each component’s influence on the input delaying decision changes however. Disaster frequency, field conditions, and runoff considerations all increase the incentive to delay fertilizer inputs while the risk associated with yield loss from delaying fertilizer beyond the six week mark also increases while the increase in yield benefits decreases relative to recent conditions. Methods to incentivize adoption of delayed input practices are briefly outlined such as modification of the farm bill’s multi-peril crop insurance program while being reserved for greater discussion in later research on the soy side of corn-soybean rotations.

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Agribusiness Commons



Faculty Mentor

Drs. Kelly Cobourn and Zeynep Hansen