Isik, Murat

August, 2004

By: Isik, Murat; Yang, Wanhong
A real options model is developed to examine the determinants of farmer participation in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This study contributes to the literature by developing a framework for ex post analysis of uncertainty and irreversibility. It extends the applications of real options models to analyze farmer participation in the CRP. The model incorporates land and owner attributes, and determines whether uncertainty and irreversibility affect the probability of participation. Option values play a significant role in farmer decisions to retire land by reducing the probability of participation. These results have implications for the design and implementation of conservation programs.

July, 2002

By: Isik, Murat; Khanna, Madhu
A micro-level model of farmer decision making is developed to examine the extent to which uncertainty about potential yields influences the value of site-specific technologies. The economic and environmental benefits of these technologies arise from two sources: information gathering and variable-rate nitrogen application is higher on fields with low average potential yields, high spatial variability, positively skewed potential yield distributions, responsive yield to nitrogen, and low uncertainty. Variable-rate application decreases nitrogen use by reducing the extent of overapplication. However, in the presence of uncertainty about potential yields, the incentives to overapply nitrogen irrespective of the method of application, uniform of variable rate, can reduce the economic and environmental benefits of site-specific technologies.

July, 2001

By: Isik, Murat; Khanna, Madhu; Winter-Nelson, Alex
An option-value model is developed to analyze the impacts of output price uncertainty, high sunk costs of adoption, and site-specific conditions on the optimal timing of adoption of two interrelated site-specific technologies, soil testing and variable rate technology (VRT). The model incorporates the potential for adopting these two technologies jointly or sequentially. The implications of the pattern of adoption for nitrogen pollution and for the design of a cost-share subsidy policy to accelerate the adoption of these technologies to reduce nitrogen pollution are also analyzed. Ignoring the potential for sequential adoption would tend to underpredict the adoption so soil testing and overpredict the adoption of VRT. Cost-share subsidies to induce accelerated adoption of VRT would be most effective at reducing nitrogen pollution if targeted toward fields with relatively high spatial variability in soil quality or soil fertility, and either low average soil quality or low average soil fertility.