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5152. Peterson, C.L., E.L. Michalson, and K.N. Hawley. 1988. Minimum input wheat production.. Amer. Soc. Agric. Engineers Paper 88-1058.
The paper describes a computer decision support program under development at the University of Idaho to help growers determine the most economic levels of inputs. It focuses on machinery decisions and fertilizers, but requests information regarding all aspects of farm management. It can produce "what-if" scenarios, examining different production strategies under various price conditions. Minimum input farming is particularly concerned with front-end capital requirements. It is an expansion of minimum tillage to include variables beyond yield and erosion as measures of success. Lack of adequate production functions relating tillage, fertilizer and pesticide use to crop yield are a major limitation. The Idaho fertilizer guide was not useful. Two MIF field plots were set up to test the program, using reduced fertilizer and reduced tillage for MIF. Costs of production were reduced on the MIF plots, which had net returns of $0.53/bu versus $0.33/bu for the conventional plots. Most of the gain was due to the reduction in phosphate fertilizer.