Using response surface methodology for economic and environmental trade-offs at the farm level

James C. Ascough, Eihab M. Fathelrahman, Dana L. Hoag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

United States farmers typically spend over $10 billion annually on commercial fertilizer. Chemical inputs such as nitrogen (N) are essential for maintaining crop yields; however, farmers often apply excessive N inputs as an insurance policy. Nitrogen fertilizer consumption in the U.S. quadrupled from 3 million metric tons in 1961 to over 12 million metric tons in 2004, and per ha N fertilizer use quadrupled. Increase in N use has been associated with the impairment of U.S. streams, lakes, and aquifers. The objective of this research study was to develop an integrated farm-level economic/environmental risk framework for trade-off analysis between farm profitability and environmental externalities (impacts). Results indicated that there was no single point of optimal trade-off between farm profitability and the environment. Additionally, trade-offs between farm profit and environmental impacts varied signifcantly depending on the choice of cropping or tillage system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
JournalAir, Soil and Water Research
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Environmental impacts
  • Nitrogen
  • Optimization
  • Response surface method
  • Trade-off analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science

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