Production functions and methods of specifying optimum fertilizer use under various uncertainty conditions for hay
McCarthy, W. Owen
Farmers who use fertilizer on a crop are concerned with at least two uncertainty problems relating to the amount of fertilizer that maximizes profits. Both of these problems arise, in part, from weather, a common underlying cause. First, crop yield is uncertain. Thus, a quantity of fertilizer applied, with the decision made before planting, may not be optimum for the yield actually obtained. Second, at the time of planting, future crop use or price may also be indefinite. The value of hay, for example, may differ according to the method of utilization. Hence, a particular amount of fertilizer applied in the spring may not provide the optimum value product at the end of the season.
This study is concerned with the estimation of production functions and the analysis of uncertainty problems as they relate to fertilization of alfalfa with P2O5 and K20. The basic data are taken from an experiment in which three hay cuttings were obtained during the 1952 growing season on Weller silt loam in Van Buren County, Iowa.