Whole-Farm Economics and Nitrogen Budget Analysis on Low-Chemical and Conventional Wisconsin Farms

1989 Annual Report for LNC89-012.1

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 1989: $62,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1991
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Margaret Krome
Wisconsin Rural Development Center

Whole-Farm Economics and Nitrogen Budget Analysis on Low-Chemical and Conventional Wisconsin Farms


Farmer who routinely use pesticides and inorganic fertilizers face uncertainty and economic risk if they consider substituting non-chemical techniques for their chemical methods of combating pests and providing soil fertility. For environmental, health and economic reasons many farmers are clearly growing more interested in alternative, non-chemical methods, but they face a lack of information about these methods, especially regarding their economic impacts on farms.

This cooperative, interagency research study analyzed economic impacts of various levels of agricultural chemical use on operating farms. This project was continued so that the relative economic merits of routine-chemical, low-chemical, and no-chemical farming, could continued to be documented on the 48 medium-sized dairy farms. Monitoring these farms and building a data base for two additional years provides more reliable conclusions about the economics of those methods. The relative economic performance of the farms will continue to be evaluated on a whole-farm and an enterprise-by-enterprise basis.

The continuation also includes provisions for field days, meetings, and workshops so participating farmers can exchange ideas and information about cost-cutting, chemical-reducing techniques and communicate their findings to educators and the general public.

1. Continue to accumulate detailed economic data on the 48 participating farms.
2. Conduct a comparative economic analysis of the 48 participating farms, grouped according to their use of pesticides and purchased nitrogen fertilizers.
3. Generate annual whole-farm economic analyses of each individual farm.
4. Facilitate the exchange of information and ideas among farmers and between farmers, researchers, and agricultural agencies.


Margaret Krome

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
W2493 County Rd ES
East Troy, WI 53120-9271
Office Phone: 4146423303