Variable rate fertilizer
application in Turkish wheat agriculture: Economic
Arif Behiç Tekin
Department of Agricultural Machinery, Faculty of
Agriculture, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey.
E-mail: email@example.com. Tel: +90.232.3884000 ext. 2657, +90.232.3427642.
Accepted 15 February, 2010
Fertilizer application is one of the most important
operations in agricultural production. Traditionally,
fertilizer is applied onto the whole farmland regardless of
the variations across the land. Soil cores are taken
randomly through the field and mixed into a single sample,
which is then analyzed, and consequently a unique fertility
recommendation is made in accordance with the results.
However, with this new technology of precision farming, grid
or zone sampling is employed to determine the variability of
the farmland soil fertility and fertilizers at
variable-rates are applied onto each of these grids or
zones. In this study, economics of variable-rate fertilizer
application in Turkish wheat production is examined, an
investment appraisal and partial budgeting analysis is made
to determine the applicable conditions for farmers. Applying
fertilizer considering the variations in soil nutrients
could be economically justified. The key factor for the
implementation of precision agriculture is the degree of
variability; highest variability easiest the implementation.
The annual cost per hectare of the above equipment over a 5
year depreciation period, at an interest rate of 21%
together with maintenance vary between $13 and $131 ha-1
for an area managed by the precision farming system of 500 -
50 ha. The benefits is of greater importance the additional
costs of the investment in precision farming systems for
only considering the yield varies between 10 to 1% due to
the farmed area. Whereas, percentage was 37 to 4% for
fertilizer saving. The costs of detailed soil sampling and
analyzing is a barrier for collection from a dense grid of
Precision agriculture, economic assessment, wheat
production, variable rate fertilizer application.