3rd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Serhat Asci
Session Name Posters - Social, Behavioral, and Economic Aspects of Nutrient Management
Category Social, behavioral, and economic aspects of nutrient Management
Poster Number 49
Author(s) Serhat Asci,  Graduate Student in Food and Resource Economics Department (Presenting Author)
  Tatiana Borisova,  Assistant Professor in Food and Resource Economics Department
  John VanSickle, Professor in Food and Resource Economics Department
  Lincoln Zotarelli, Assistant Professor in Horticultural Sciences Department
  Costs, Returns, and Nitrogen Application Decisions in Florida Potato Production
  This study examines fertilizer application decisions by Florida potato producers, and the potential effects of alternative fertilizer application rates on production costs and returns. The study area is northern Florida, where two main rivers – Suwannee River and the Lower St. Johns River – are classified as impaired with respect to nutrients. A Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) for the Suwannee River Basin is expected to be completed in 2011. For the Lower St. Johns River Basin, BMAP was adopted in 2008, making best management practices (BMPs, including fertilizer management) mandatory for the potato producers (Section 403.067 (7) (d), Florida Statutes). By definition, agricultural BMPs should be “practical and cost-effective” (FDACS, 2010), and hence, economic analysis should be conducted as a part of the BMP development process. To examine the potential effect of alternative fertilizer application rates on potato production costs and returns, we employ the following methods: a survey of potato producers about the determinants of their fertilizer application decisions, a partial budget analysis to explore the sensitivity of production costs and returns to key economic parameters, and the production risk analysis to examine the changes in production returns associated with the variations in fertilization practices. Preliminary analysis shows that production costs and returns are highly sensitive to the changes in yields, and hence, even weak perceived association between fertilizer application rates and yields can create incentives for the growers to increase the fertilizer use.