Improving Agricultural Nitrogen use through Policy Incentivized Management Strategies: Precision Agriculture on the Palouse Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.S., Water Resources)--University of Idaho, June 2015 | Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs) incentivize precision fertilizer practices to address nitrogen loss issues, though their efficacy in the Palouse Region is unexplored. We used the CropSyst-Microbasin model to assess biophysical outcomes of precision fertilizer management. The model captures field-scale spatial and temporal differences in soil water retention and spatial variation in crop yield. We found a 21 kg reduction of N loss under precision management on a 10.9 hectare field. With improvements in crop growth algorithms under excess nutrient conditions, the model will be a useful tool for practical application. Precision practices are not common on the Palouse, thus, we also addressed barriers to adoption. We found that precision is profitable in the short term with assistance from NMPs and continues to be profitable after incentives cease. To overcome non-financial adoption barriers, NMPs should be reprioritized in relation to soil tillage programs, and should be supplemented with peer-to-peer outreach.

publication date

  • August 15, 2015