The Trade-off between Yield and Nitrogen Pollution under Excessive Rainfall: Evidence from On-farm Field Experiments in Iowa

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2024-02-11
Authors
Choi, Eseul
DePaula, Guilherme
Kyveryga, Peter
Fey, Suzanne
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Economics
Abstract
Climate change is expected to intensify rainfall, thereby raising the likelihood of nitrogen leaching in agriculture. This study incorporates the effects of excessive rainfall on crop yield and water pollution into a simple economic model for managing nitrogen. We then empirically test this model using data from on-farm experiments conducted in Iowa. Our findings indicate that both optimal nitrogen application rates and environmental damage increase with excessive rainfall. As nitrogen becomes more productive under increased rainfall, the cost of controlling nitrogen pollution escalates. However, our study highlights management practices resilient to heavy rainfall such as split nitrogen application with sidedressing.
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JEL Codes: Q15, Q52, Q53, C93
Length: 70 pages
Original Release Date: February 11, 2024
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