Economic Responses of Broccoli and Cauliflower to Water and Nitrogen in the Desert

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  • 1 Yuma Agricultural Research Center, University of Arizona, 6425 West 8th Street, Yuma, AZ 85364
  • 2 Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Arizona, 421 Economics Building, Tucson, AZ 85721

Field studies were conducted to develop water and N response surface models for broccoli and cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L., Botrytis Group) produced in the low desert of the southwestern United States and to estimate profit maximizing combinations of water and N over a range of realistic price situations. Marketable broccoli and cauliflower yields were increased by water and N inputs in all experiments. Generalized response equations indicate maximum broccoli yields with 43 cm of water and N at 267 kg·ha–1 and maximum cauliflower yields with 65 cm of water and N at 338 kg·ha–1. Least-cost combinations of water and N changed with the costs of these inputs for yield levels below the economic maximum. However, profit maximizing N and water rates changed little regardless of input or crop prices investigated.

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