Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/24/2003
Publication Date: 12/1/2003
Citation: ARCHER, D.W., GESCH, R.W. VALUE OF TEMPERATURE-ACTIVATED POLYMER-COATED SEED IN THE NORTHERN CORN BELT. JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS. 2003. V. 35(3). P. 625-637. Interpretive Summary: A new seed coating provides some protection to seeds after they have been planted until conditions are right for crop growth. The new coating may add some planting options for producers in the northern Corn Belt. The coating may allow crops to be planted earlier in the season, reducing the chances of yield loss due to delayed planting. Since the coating has only been tested for a few years in the northern Corn Belt, little is known about the effects of varying weather conditions on crop yields with the new coating. A crop model was used to predict the effects of varying weather conditions on a producer's ability to plant corn and soybeans, and on the yields of these crops for a typical Minnesota farm. The results were used to estimate the economic value and use of the new seed coating. Our results showed that coated seed increases net returns in corn by $2.50-$3.65 per acre and in soybeans by $4.50-$9.70 per acre on the acres where early planting is possible. Our results also showed that an average of 45% to 79% of the total corn and soybean acres for our sample farm could be planted early using coated seed. This analysis allows producers to see how this new technology may benefit them in clear economic terms, resulting in more informed production decisions. This analysis also allows potential developers and distributors of this technology to better target this product to producers in the northern Corn Belt.
Technical Abstract: The value of an innovative seed technology is evaluated in a discrete stochastic programming framework for a representative farm in the northern Corn Belt. Temperature-activated polymer coated seed has the potential to increase net returns by reducing yield loss due to delayed planting and by increasing the use of longer season varieties. A biophysical simulation model was used to estimate the impact of polymer coated seed on corn and soybean yields and on field day availability for five planting periods, two crop varieties and two tillage systems on two different soils under varying weather conditions. Results show that polymer coated seed increases net returns in corn by $2.50-$3.65 per acre and in soybeans by $4.50-$9.70 per acre on acres where it is used. Results also show that expected use of polymer coated seed ranged from 45% to 79% of the total corn and soybean acres for our sample farm.