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Adoption of Cover Crops and Its Effect on Nitrogen Use by Farmers

By Gnel Gabrielyan, Sachin Chintawar and John V. Westra

Abstract

With increasing environmental concerns, increasing population, changing tastes and preferences of consumers towards healthier foods, and with more food safety requirements, agronomic practices have changed gradually to provide not only food and fiber but also public goods and other beneficial services from agriculture. Cover cropping is one type of technology increasingly being adopted by producers of multifunctional agriculture. Cover crops provide a range of benefits, both private and public. In this paper we identify factors affecting farmers’ choice to adopt cover crops. We examine the impact on nitrogen use from adopting cover crops and the resultant decrease in input costs. Using a two-stage approach that incorporates endogeneity of adoption in nitrogen management, we conclude that farmers adopting cover crop technologies, that increase production efficiency, tend to decrease nitrogen fertilizer use by 4.75%, as hypothesized by Smith (2002).cover crops, nitrogen usage, technology adoption, Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management, Land Economics/Use, Production Economics, Risk and Uncertainty,

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