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Agricultural Economist
BLDG 007, Room 112, BARC-West
Beltsville, MD 20705
Phone: 301-504-5821; FAX: 301-504-6491

Summary of Research

Dr. Lu contributes 0.70 FTE to the Farming Systems Project in SASL and 0.30 FTE to the Alternate Crops and Systems Lab. He is conducting economic analyses of new technologies to (1) determine economic feasibility, (2) assess economic risks for adopting the new technology, (3) assess the long-term impact of the new technologies on profitability and environment quality, and (4) evaluate the trade-offs among profitability, economic risks, and environmental factors. One approach involves ex post analysis, i.e. conducting economic analysis after field experiments have been completed. In this case, we analyze costs and benefits of adopting the new technology to determine economic feasibility and evaluate the economic risks associated with adopting the new technology. Another approach is ex ante analysis, the evaluation of a new technologies' potential economic feasibility before the experiment is completed. Using this analysis, we can project expected outcomes of adopting the technology and provide agricultural scientists with an immediate determination of economic feasibility which my be used to guide future research. For example, we have conducted economic analysis of the Sustainable Agricultural Demonstration site after four years of experimentation and found that a system based on a crownvetch living mulch was not profitable. Subsequently, that system was excluded from further economic analyses and alternative systems were considered. The potential profitability and environmental impacts of the new systems were analyzed using simulation modeling.

Publications (1999-present)

Lu, Y.-C, B. Watkins, and J.R. Teasdale. 1999. Economic analysis of sustainable agricultural cropping systems. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 15:77-93.

Watkins, B., Y.-C. Lu, Y. Chen, and F. Gwozdz. 1999. Economic value and cost of automated on-line inspection for the U.S. broiler industry. Food Control 10:69-80.

Huang, W., Y.-C. Lu, and N.D. Uri. 1999. An evaluation of soil nitrogen testing considering the carry-over effect. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 13(3): 5-34.

Huang, W. and Y.-C. Lu. 2000. Estimating the benefits of agricultural use of municipal, animal, and industrial by-products. Chapter 12 in "Land Application of Agricultural, Industrial and Municipal By-Products". Soil Science Society of America Book Series No. 6. (Book chapter)

Watkins, B., Y.-C. Lu, and Y. Chen. 2000. Economic feasibility analysis of automated on-line poultry inspection technologies. Poultry Science 79:265-274.

Lu, Y.-C., B. Watkins, J.R. Teasdale, and A.A. Abdul-Baki. 2000. Cover crops in sustainable food production. Food Reviews International 16:121-157. .

Teasdale, J.R., R.C. Rosecrance, C.B. Coffman, J.L. Starr, I.C. Paltineanu. Y.-C. Lu, and B.K. Watkins. 2000. Performance of reduced-tillage cropping systems for sustainable grain production in Maryland. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 15:79-87.

Lu, Y.-C., B. Watkins, and J.R. Teasdale. 2000. Economic and environmental comparison of an organic farming system with alternative no-tillage systems. Proceedings of the 13th International IFOAM Scientific Conference. (Proceedings)

Wu, S., D. Walker, S. Devadoss, and Y.-C. Lu. 2001. Productivity growth and its components in Chinese Agriculture after reforms. Review of Development Economics 5:375-391.

Lu, Y.-C. and V.R. Reddy. 2001. Economic analysis of pix application strategies using a cotton simulation model. 2001 Beltwide Cotton Conferences. CD Rom (Proceedings).

Huang, W., Y.-C. Lu, and N.D. Uri. 2001. An assessment of soil nitrogen testing considering the carry-over effect. Applied Mathematical Modeling 23: 843-860.

Watkins, B., Y.-C. Lu, and W. Huang. 2002. A case study of economic and environmental impacts of variable rate nitrogen and water application. International Agricultural Engineering Journal 11:173-185.

Watkins, B., Y.-C. Lu, and J.R. Teasdale. 2002. Long-term economic and environmental assessment of alternative cropping systems for the Mid-Atlantic region. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 20:61-82.

Lu, Y.-C., and V.R. Reddy. 2002. Economic analysis of pix (mepiquat chloride) application strategies. Agricultural Engineering Journal 11:133-143.

Wu, S., Y.-C. Lu, D.J. Mills, C.B. Coffman, and J.R. Teasdale. 2002. Economic evaluation of alternative production systems for fresh-market tomatoes in the Mid-Atlantic region. Journal of Vegetable Crop Production 8:91-107.

Lu, Y.-C., J.R. Teasdale, and W.Y Huang. 2002. An economic and environmental tradeoff analysis of sustainable agricultural cropping systems. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture. In press.

Camp, C.R., Y.-C. Lu, and E.J. Sadler. 2002. Spatial variation in crop yield: II. Implications for water and nitrogen management. 2002 Irrigation Association Technical Conference. Irrigation Association. CD Rom (Proceedings).

Wang, Q.W., W. Klassen, Z. Handoo, A. Abdul-Baki., B. Bryan, and Y. Lu. Influence of cover crops on soil nematodes in a south Florida tomato field. Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida Proceedings. In press. (Proceedings)

Wu, S., Y.-C. Lu, J.E. McMurtry, G. Weesies, T.E. Devine, and G.R. Foster. The economic and environmental benefits of large-biomas soybeans (LBSs) for increasing residues. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture. In press.

Lu, Y.-C., E.J. Sadler, and C.R. Camp. Optimal levels of irrigation in corn production in the Southeast Costal Plain. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture. In press.